Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. But this time around, the panelists become prognosticators and make their picks for the 2011 Stanley Cup champion.
Damien Cox - Toronto Star: I have to say thumbs up, because it's my turn to tell you that the San Jose Sharks are going to win the Stanley Cup this year - without a lot of conviction. They did get to the conference final, they've made some improvements, and I think this is the year.
Steve Simmons - Sun Media: My thumb is up to the Pittsburgh Penguins. I love centres, I love strength down the centre. You've got Sidney Crosby, you've got Evgeni Malkin, and eventually between now and April, Jordan Staal will be back and his foot will be okay. Ray Shero always adds guys at the deadline, and I like the way he does that. Crosby is always motivated, so you look for them to be successful.
Michael Farber - Sports Illustrated: My thumb is up to the Washington Capitals, because it is time. The Capitals blew a great chance to win the Cup last year, and with Alex Ovechkin primed and ready, I think it's now time.
Dave Hodge - TSN: This year I think it's nice - but not essential - but nice, that one of us picks a Canadian team. And I'm a nice guy. I'm going with the Vancouver Canucks again. They were my pre-season pick. All I need for them is to meet Chicago again in the playoffs and pretend they are the road team when they are the home team. Really, they weren't too far away last year, so keep the faith out there on the West Coast. Four different picks here, and we will revisit them one year from now - and let's hope somebody is right.