Who will be crowned the 2008-2009 Stanley Cup Champions? Inside Pittsburgh Sports weighs in on who will reach the finals. Will we see a rematch between Pittsburgh & Detroit?

Eastern Conference
1. Montreal vs 8. Tampa Bay – Montreal in 5
2. Pittsburgh vs 7. New Jersey – Pittsburgh in 7
3. Washington vs 6. Boston – Washington in 6
4. NYR vs. 5. Philadelphia – New York Rangers in 7
Semi finals
2. Pittsburgh vs. 3. Washington – Pittsburgh in 6
1. Montreal vs 4. New York Rangers – New York Rangers in 6
Conference Finals
2. Pittsburgh vs.4. New York – New York Rangers in 7
Rangers Advance to Finals
Western Conference
1. Detroit vs 8. Chicago – Detroit in 5
2. Dallas vs 7. Colorado – Dallas in 5
3. Edmonton vs. 6. Calgary – Edmonton in 7
4. Anaheim vs 5. San Jose – Anaheim in 6
Semi Finals
1. Detroit vs 4. Anaheim – Anaheim in 7
2. Dallas vs 3. Edmonton – Dallas in 6
Conference Finals
2. Dallas vs 4. Anaheim – Dallas in 7
Stars advance to Finals
Stanley Cup Finals
2. Dallas Stars vs 4. New York Rangers – Dallas in 6
Dallas Stars 2008-2009 Stanley Cup Champions
The Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins are the smart money picks heading into the season but what is the likely hood of both teams making the finals again? The Western conference is very tough to repeat. The Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks will give the Red Wings problems this year. Both teams are physical and can skate with the Wings. Dallas is a complete team. The Stars have depth up the middle to match the Red Wings and their blue line is very good. Sergei Zubov and Phillip Boucher are the anchors of the Stars D but 23 yr old Niklas Grossman (+10) and 21 yr old Matt Niskanen (+22) will be even better this year.
The East is a much easier path for the Penguins to return to the finals. The Penguins have returned to the pack while the Rangers and Canadiens have gotten slightly better. The Rangers have great team speed this year and they play lock down defense. The Candiens are the most dynamic team offensively but they have question marks on the blue line and it remains to be seen how Carey Price responds. The Capitals are a dark horse but there not ready for prime time just yet. The Flyers will be a force again but they lack depth on the blue line and they have difficulties matching up against teams like Pittsburgh. Detroit and Pittsburgh may still be the top teams in their respective conferences but it’s going to be a Dallas and New York Final