NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions: Final Edition

The Defending Big D staff makes their picks for this season's Stanley Cup winner.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks are in the midst of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. We submitted our Cup winner picks prior to celebrating Memorial Day this weekend. Unfortunately, naps and the allure of the sun and the pool today led to a laissez-faire approach to posting our winners to share today.

We're here to correct that. I solemnly swear that we are up to no good (and managed mischief this weekend) but we're back to it now that the weekend is coming to an end. So, who wins the Cup - the rolling Penguins squad (sans Trevor Daley, ex-Star extraordinaire) or the Sharks, who most Stars fans dislike on principal due to all those playoff series days of yore?

Taylor: I'm torn between Daley finally winning a Cup and old guys like Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton lifting the chalice after all of the drama they've gone through in recent seasons. I'll go with the ones that haven't been there before. Sharks in 6.

Erin: I want to root for Sharks for a lot of reasons - the outstanding facial hair, the compelling style of hockey, the coronation of deserved players like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. But the Penguins have probably been the most consistent team in hockey since March, even with questions in net. Penguins in 6.

Marcus: The Sharks looked scary against the Blues. The Pens have more firepower but the Sharks have more balance. Sharks in 7.

Robert: I successfully convinced a coworker last week that real-life sharks eat penguins in the Arctic, so I'm saying we see our first sweep on the playoffs because I am the only one brave enough to predict it. You are all cowards and do not deserve to be able to watch hockey. Please turn off your television sets if you have any honor at all. Sharks in 4.

David: To me the difference in this series will come down to San Jose's top four defensemen of Vlasic-Braun, and Martin-Burns. Penguins have a slight edge offensively, but San Jose doesn't get enough credit for being an elite defensive team. They've got the players and the staff to make their overall game sing. Sharks in 6.

Wes: Either way, a guy Boston booted for "not being a winner" wins a Stanley Cup. So every non-Boston fan should be stoked. I believe in the beard. Sharks in 6.

Derek: I predict...a great series! OK, OK, I know that's corny, but it's true. Both of these teams are riding high right now, rolling with the momentum of big elimination game victories. In the end, though, San Jose has not had to face a fast team yet, and that adjustment period will provide the narrowest of edges to the Penguins, who will take an early series lead and then battle out wins the rest of the way. Penguins in 7.

Huw: The Sharks have had a great run but I don't think they've got it to beat a Penguins team that has really begun to jell. Don't get me wrong, I think they'll make it a series. The cherry on top will be Phil Kessel scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal in double overtime in game seven on a brilliant individual effort just for everyone in Toronto... Penguins in 7.

Ann: Sharks eat Penguins in the wild, but this isn't the National Geographic Channel and I can't imagine that will have any bearing on the outcome of the series. What I want to have happen is Phil Kessel winning the Stanley Cup and taking it to a hot dog stand in Toronto and then parading it to Steve Simmons' door step. Since I feel like this series is literally going to be a toss up, that's what I'm predicting. Extra mustard. Penguins in 7.

Kathleen: And we thought the conference finals were tough to predict. I'm another of those lame yoyos who think it's literally too close to call - but it's easy to imagine Jumbo Joe and Hat-Trick Marleau responding to the call of history. No matter what happens, we get to see either Thornton and Marleau (and Brenden Dillon!) or Kessel and Daley lift the Cup. WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE. Sharks in 7.

Melissa: Thornton comes up big all series for the Sharks, and Matt Murray looks a little shaky. Most of the games are nail biters, but San Jose comes out on top in the end. Sharks in 7.