Nina G: I think the Penguins are the only one strong enough to win it if healthy, but since they are not I do not see the Cup coming from the Atlantic in 2012.
Bob H: An Atlantic Division team certainly has the juice to win the Stanley Cup, because the East for whatever reason has been a “crapshoot” for as long as anybody can remember. Whoever goes up for the prize will have to contend with Boston and to a lesser extent, Washington in the East, but will have a greater challenge from Detroit or whoever else rises up in the West.
Pavialax: No. Actually, I think the cup is headed back out west in 2012.
Nick D: Any team can win the Stanley Cup any year. It’s why you watch the sport. It’s certainly why the players play the sport. It’s why guys like James Wisniewski sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets or why Evgeni Nabokov will report to the New York Islanders this year: anything can happen. I firmly believe the only team with enough fire, determination, and overall character to win the Stanley Cup this year is the Philadelphia Flyers. It will be interesting to see how all of the parts fit together and how Peter Laviolette plays everyone in certain situations, but I think that Paul Holmgren did a great job over the summer getting the necessary pieces to fit the puzzle that will bring a cup to Philadelphia for the first time since 1975. As a hockey fan you have to be excited about Jaromir Jagr coming back to the league, but moreover as a Flyers fan, you have to be anxious to see if he’s the same guy that you saw lead the Czech Republic to gold at the World Championships. You have to be pumped about catching the first no questions asked number one goaltender in decades in Ilya Bryzgalov in net. You have to be chomping at the bit to see Maxime Talbot play against the Pittsburgh Penguins and get under their skin in the worst ways every time he’s out on the ice. You have to have a mouthwatering, insatiable appetite to see if Brayden Schenn is all you’ve heard about, and probably more. And you gotta be itching to see Wayne Simmonds lay someone out in the corner and Jakub Voracek backhand one over Lundqvist after receiving a picture perfect outlet pass from Chris Pronger. All of these things have me believing that this team is much better suited to go for a deep cup run than they have been in the last few years, it’s just a matter of whether everyone can stay healthy and get comfortable with their roles and develop some chemistry before mid April rolls around.
Eden N: Ugh, can’t believe I’m going to say this, but no. Don’t think so. That being said, I’m probably going to end up rooting for a Western Conference team. If it’s not my Flyers.
Marcello D: If a team from the Atlantic Division win the Cup this year, it will be Pittsburgh. You have to hand it to Ray Shero for being able to keep the core of his team in tact, adding pieces like James Neal, and still having some cap room to spare. The Penguins have the makeup of a Cup team, especially if Malkin and Crosby are healthy.