A quick examination of the Penguins and Red Wings reveals the forwards are about equal and the goalies are remarkably close, but Detroit has a slight blue-line edge, thanks to Nicklas Lidstrom. Pittsburgh is younger and perhaps hungrier, but Detroit has home-ice advantage. The deciding factor will be whether the Penguins can play that vice-grips defense they used to suffocate their first three playoff opponents. Picking the Penguins, but rooting just as much for the series to go the distance.

Penguins in 7.


If you want to pick this by goaltending, you might give it to Detroit and Chris Osgood - he has been better in the postseason than the Penguins' Marc-Andre Fleury, who just was not tested severely enough by the Flyers in the Eastern Conference finals. But I'm going with Pittsburgh. The Pens are getting scoring from everywhere right now - the Red Wings really aren't - and this kind of balance, combined with the excellence of Sidney Crosby, is what wins Cups.

Penguins in 6.


Pittsburgh was good enough to win the East and cruise through the conference rounds. The Penguins have the depth and a load of talent, and they now have the ability to play defense. The problem for the Penguins is that the Red Wings can match them at every level - depth, firepower, defense and goaltending.

Red Wings in 6.


The Pittsburgh Penguins are going to make the Flyers feel better about themselves over the next 2 weeks - and shock the hockey world in the process. They have found themselves this postseason, really in the last quarter of the regular season, too. They have the speed, the skill guys and the commitment to defense needed to take down the Red Wings. I also like their goalie more than I like Chris Osgood. So . . .

Penguins in six.