Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. Discount Balenciaga . This week, they give a special NHL playoff edition of Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down, where the panel gives their Stanley Cup winner prediction. Bruce Arthur, National Post My thumb is up to the Boston Bruins who I think are going to be the 2014 Stanley Cup champions. Remember last season, there was a thought that Claude Julien would get fired if they lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round and jeopardy could extend all the way up to the general managers chair and they did what they did. I think theyre in better shape heading into the playoffs then they were last season, when they had a compressed schedule following the Boston Marathon bombings, they were a tired team in the first round and really, more than anything, they have the easiest road to the Stanley Cup Final of any Stanley Cup contender. I think Bostons ready. Steve Simmons, SUN Media It hurts me to say this just because of the history but Im going thumbs up to the San Jose Sharks, who year in and year out disappoint at this time of year, but I look at this team and all that size up front. The move of Joe Pavelski to left wing has really completed this forward group nicely and I think Marc-Edouard Vlasics play at the Olympics taught him that hes a big-time guy now. He can elevate his game and I think that team, with Todd McLellan coaching, can come out of the west and can beat the Boston Bruins. Theyre too big and theyre too fast. Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated My thumb is up to the Chicago Blackhawks because consistency is the hob gobble in little minds and nobody has a littler mind than I do. I picked them at the start of the year, I picked them at the deadline, and Im picking them now because Patrick Kanes going to be back, Jonathan Toews is going to be back, and because the Blackhawks have the best defenceman in the Stanley Cup tournament in Duncan Keith. Dave Hodge, TSN Im going to go through the apparently easy route in the east and say thumbs up to the Presidents Trophy winning Boston Bruins. Sure, they dont win as often as they lose but in this case, this is the best home team in the NHL, lots of playoff experience, theyre obviously good defensively, good goaltending, good special teams and they are reasonably healthy. Then theres that Eastern Conference path to the Stanley Cup Final again, and I think that ends up being the bottom line for my reason to pick Boston. Balenciaga Triple S Discount . According to USA Today the Finns have tapped forwards Jarkko Immonen and Sakari Salminen to replace injured forwards Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula at the Sochi Games. Balenciaga Triple S Clearance . Future Hall of Famer Ricky Ray is in his prime and back for a third season in double blue. The 34-year old was magnificent in 2013, throwing for just under 2,900 yards despite missing eight games, tossing an impressive 21 touchdowns against just two interceptions, completing 66 per cent of his passes in the process.TORONTO - The Toronto Maple Leafs longest losing streak since 2010 has their playoff hopes in serious doubt. The Detroit Red Wings longest winless stretch in three months has prevented the club from separating itself in the wild card race. The two clubs look to get on track Saturday night, when the Leafs try to snap a seven-game slide against a Red Wings team looking to win for the first time in four contests. Detroit and Toronto are two of four teams tied for the two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference with 80 points. The Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals all have nine games remaining on the season, while the Maple Leafs have seven left to play. That has Toronto on the outside of the playoff picture, while the Red Wings and Blue Jackets have the current tiebreaker over the Capitals with more non-shootout wins. Washington is hosting the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon, while Columbus is set to visit the Carolina Hurricanes in the evening. The Maple Leafs seemed in prime position to make the playoffs for a second straight season just weeks ago, but have lost seven in a row in regulation. That is the longest losing streak for the club since an 0-6-2 slide from Oct. 28-Nov. 13, 2010. Toronto doesnt have much time to regroup after dropping a 4-2 road decision to the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night. That setback did see winger James van Riemsdyk set a club record by scoring just four seconds into the second period, but it wasnt enough. Dave Bolland also scored and Jonathan Bernier allowed four goals on 29 shots faced. "I think our work ethic and all that stuff has been good. We havent quit, weve played hard to the end," noted van Riemsdyk, who bested Mats Sundins previous club record set when he scored six seconds into overtime on Dec. 30, 1995. "Like I said, sometimes we just arent getting those bounces and were just going to have to find a way to just clean things up a little bit more where were not making any mistakes because it seems like when we do were not gettingg the bounces that we need. Balenciaga Shoes Clearance. quot; That is especially true for Torontos goaltenders. Bernier has allowed four goals in both games he has played since returning from a five-game absence caused by a groin injury, while James Reimer has yielded 18 goals over a personal five-game losing streak. Bernier will get the start again for Toronto. He is 2-1-1 with a 2.85 goals against average versus the Red Wings. Toronto opens a four-game homestand tonight and will then close the season with three straight on the road. The Leafs are 22-14-1 at home on the season. The Red Wings are trying to avoid missing the postseason for the first time since 1990 and remain without a number of injured players, including Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. They come into this key meeting having gone 0-2-1 in their last three games, the longest winless stretch for the Red Wings since they went 0-4-2 from Dec. 7-17. Detroit tried to rally on Thursday night against the visiting Montreal Canadiens, but came up short in a 5-4 decision. Tomas Tatar scored twice in a span of just over three minutes in the third period to tie the game, but the Habs went back on top 78 seconds later. Montreal then restored a two-goal edge before Johan Franzen tallied to get the Red Wings within a goal, but another comeback was not in the cards. "Catch-up hockey is losing hockey," Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said. Riley Sheahan recorded a goal and an assist in the loss, but Jimmy Howard stopped just 24-of-29 shots. Babcock said Howard is his likely starter for tonight as the Red Wings also are set to host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. Howard is 1-1-1 in his career against Toronto with a 2.61 GAA. The Red Wings have won two of three against the Maple Leafs this season, with the lone setback coming in a shootout on Jan. 1 outdoors at Michigan Stadium. Detroits 5-4 shootout victory on Dec. 21 snapped a four-game series road losing streak as the Red Wings won in Toronto for the first time since Nov. 16, 2002. ' ' '
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