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2017 Stanley Cup Finals Pick: Pens or Preds?

Who raises the Cup?

It won’t be long now before a new champion of professional hockey is crowned. The question is if we think we have what it takes to get our 2017 Stanley Cup Finals pick right.

When we did our initial bracket in April, we were at least half right on the final. Pittsburgh came through and won the Eastern Conference, but Chicago did not win the West. That honor went to the team which swept them, the Nashville Predators. No doubt, the Preds will be an easy team for many to like.

Aside from a staunch divisional rival, does anyone truly hate the Nashville Predators? I’m not even sure Penguins fans hate the Preds, though they might in about a week or two. It’s still a matter of some dispute as to whether they have any true rivals at all. Sure, they might think the Blackhawks are their rival, but the Blackhawks have to think the same of them. Maybe after this year, they will.

On the other end, the Penguins accrue all the haters one would expect of a successful team. Not only that, but also the haters of Pittsburgh sports in general and Sidney Crosby. All this is by way of saying the Nashville bandwagon will fill up, but what matters is who hoists the Cup. That rhyme was not intentional but we’ll take it.

Which team will that be?

2017 Stanley Cup Finals Pick

Pittsburgh, the defending Stanley Cup champion, is the safe choice. Nashville, a team that has never been here before, is the risky bet. Nevertheless, there’s something to be said for each.

The Penguins are the team with pedigree and talent that is not afraid of this stage. On paper, they are the team to beat. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have played like superstars this postseason, which is to be expected.

They have also had some defensive issues, and they can’t seem to figure out who their goalie is. It appears Matt Murray is the guy, though he’s played less than Marc-Andre Fleury so far. Pittsburgh has a disadvantage in this category to Nashville; Pekka Rinne has been phenomenal for the Preds.

It’s said that defense wins championships. Nashville has allowed just 29 goals to Pittsburgh’s 44. Maybe the Pens played better teams, but there is no denying Rinne and the defense have played well. The Preds are riding very high, and they’ll take it all the way. Nashville in 6.

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