First off, congrats to the Blackhawks on a great year. They are the best story in hockey this season and are going to be 10 times better next season just on the experience they gained this year. If they can get another veteran D-man, they could really be a cup contender.
As for my pick for the finals... I'm going to hedge just a bit. As a fan, I love the Red Wings, but as an observer, I think the entire series depends on if Nicklas Lidstrom plays or not. Pittsburgh's firepower is very difficult to contain if Lidstrom doesn't play his 30 minutes a game. I think the Penguins have much more offense to work with than the Blackhawks had, and their defense is better, too.
Latest report I saw said the Wings expect Lidstrom to play so I'll say Red Wings in seven. If he doesn't play, or has to sit out more than two games, Penguins in seven. We'll find out right away how much the Penguins have improved over last year, but I think you have to give a big edge to the Wings in coaching experience. Until you've been behind the bench in the finals, you have to give the edge to the team whose coach has already been there.
What do you think?
And hasn't it been fun to watch the NHL playoffs this year? LOVE listening to Doc. He might be the best broadcaster in his sport alive today. I know a lot of people dislike VERSUS, but I'll take them over ESPN for one reason: When you're watching a game on VERSUS, it's about the game. Sometimes when things are on ESPN, its about ESPN more than the game, such as the basketball playoffs. Of course, they don't have anyone like Mike, either.