Bad news, folks. The Bruins are not an underdog.
It’s a split, for sure, but plenty of people are picking Boston to beat the Chicago Blackhawks and win their second Stanley Cup title in three years. There’s no disrespect card to play this time around.
Who ya got? Here’s a look at who’s picking whom.
Boston.com sports staff:
Matt Pepin: Blackhawks in 7: I expect one intense game after another, just the way a final series should be.
Steve Silva: Bruins in 6. Tuukka stays solid. And Tyler Seguin scores a goal or two.
Zuri Berry: Bruins in 5. The Bruins’ defensive mastery is reminiscent of the team’s 2011 Stanley Cup Final series with Canucks.
Chad Finn: Bruins in 6: As penance for losing, all blasphemous photos of Bobby Orr as a Blackhawk must be removed from the United Center.
Gary Dzen: Bruins in 6. The Bruins are too balanced and Rask is playing too well for the Blackhawks to win.
Mark Lazerus, Chicago Sun-Times: Blackhawks in seven. “Both teams are weary and surely banged-up. It’s a toss-up between two great defensive teams with two red-hot goalies. In the end, the Hawks’ offensive depth — and home-ice advantage — wins out.”
Globe staff: Four out of four pick the Bruins.
James Murphy, ESPNBoston.com: Bruins in 6. “This should be one heck of a series and could easily go the distance with either team winning. The teams are very evenly matched, but in the end, their roads to the finals might be the difference. Yes, the Blackhawks beat the defending Stanley Cup champions in the Western Conference finals, but the Bruins completely shut down one of the best offenses in recent memory in the Penguins and also blitzed the team many picked to win the Stanley Cup in the Rangers. The Bruins will get a split in Chicago to start the series and win the Cup in Game 6 back in Boston.”
Foxsports.com staff: Six out of 10 pick the Bruins.
Jesse Spector, The Sporting News: Blackhawks in seven. “I’ve been pretty on the ball, so the way I see this series getting decided is that either the Bruins start getting overly physical or the Blackhawks run into a too-hot goalie, which Tuukka Rask, to this point, has been. Thing is, Chicago beat a hot goalie in Quick, and Boston really appears to have a good handle on staying away from retaliatory penalties and similarly stupid nonsense.”
Sports Illustrated staff: Allain Muir and Brian Cazeneuve pick the Bruins. Sarah Kwak and Adrian Dater pick the Blackhawks. Dater: “ All my New England relatives will cut me off from receiving Dunkin’ Donuts and Papa Gino’s gift cards at Christmas, but I’ve got to stick with the Blackhawks. (Actually, the folks will be thrilled, since the dreaded #DaterJinx is now in play.) Chicago has been the league’s best team all year, so why should it stop now? The Blackhawks and Bruins both showed their character by coming back from the dead in previous series and appear to be playing their best hockey at just the right time. But with that extra home game on United Center ice, and with all the passion that brings, I like the Hawks in the final game. The Bruins aren’t going to be shutting out Kane, Toews and Hossa like they did Crosby, Malkin and Iginla. If that happens, I’ll eat nothing but Dunkin’ Donuts Boston Cremes for a year. At least I’d die happy.”
98.5 The Sports Hub staff: 16 out of 19 pick the Bruins.
NHL/NHL.com staff: 12 out of 19 pick the Blackhawks.
New England Hockey Journal staff: Four out of four pick the Bruins.
CBS Sports.com staff: Two out of three pick the Blackhawks.
ESPN staff: Nine out of 12 pick the Bruins.
Jeremy Roenick, NBC: Chicago Blackhawks, man. (We assume.)
It says here: Bruins in six. Watch out Foxwoods.