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New Monsters of the Midway: Chicago Blackhawks to Win Cup

HawkscupINDIANAPOLIS -- Hello and good afternoon from the press box at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

A lot of people here are talking about the Indy Cars and the 94th running of the 500, but many more are talking hockey.

The general consensus from what I have been reading has the red-hot Blackhawks as the prohibitive favorite.

I agree with that.

Funny how just a few months ago we saw a goalie named Antti Niemi suit up in Helsinki and shut out the Panthers.

We just figured it was yet another backup goalie beating the Panthers. Turns out, he was pretty good.

Niemi has more than held his own in his first NHL postseason and he ended up stopping 95 percent of shots faced in Chicago's sweep of the Sharks.

The Blackhawks have no problem playing on the road either, and that experience will help them when they run into the nuts in Philadelphia. For the first time in my life, I really like a Flyers team. This Flyers team. They are exciting, play in your face and have a certain swagger about them.

I think this is going to be a real good series, one of the better ones we've seen in the past few decades.

That said, I'm picking the Hawks in 6.

-- Playoff Picks: Went 6-2 in the opening round (lost Boston and Washington); 3-1 in the second (lost Montreal); 1-1 in the third (picked Montreal). So that makes me 10-4. Not too hot. Would like to go 11-4, but would really like to see a great series. Chicago will go nuts if the Hawks win, but nothing like Philly if the Flyers pull it out. 


Philadelphia Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Seeds: Flyers (No. 7 in Eastern Conference); Blackhawks (No. 2 in Western Conference)

Playoff Road: Flyers d. Devils (No. 2); Bruins (No. 6); Canadiens (No. 8); Blackhawks d. Predators (No. 7); Canucks (No. 3); Sharks (No. 1).

Stanley Cup History: Flyers have won two Stanley Cups (1974, 75); Blackhawks have won three (1934, 38, 61).

This season: Flyers 3, Blackhawks 2 at Philadelphia, March 13

The Pick: Blackhawks in 6