1. Do the Sharks have a chance or are we just patiently waiting for a Penguins to win this?
Corey: If we're speaking literally, yeah the Sharks have a chance. But do I like their chances? No, I don't.
Zsolt: God I hope so because I don't want Crosby winning another cup.
Minnia: I've (rather sadistically) pictured Justin Schultz lifting the cup so many times that there is no way the Pens do not win. I've heard visualization is how many athletes achieve success-- it's okay if it's done by another person, right?
Ryan: I picked the Penguins before the playoffs started so I guess I'll stick with them. I also thought they'd be playing either the Kings of the Ducks so It's possible that I don't know a damn thing.
Jeff: I've got the Penguins wrapping this one up in San Jose on Sunday night. It'd be great drama if the Sharks can pull out another victory and force a game 7, but I've got the Penguins tying it down and Justin Schultz winning his first Stanley Cup.
Shona: I would like to think they have a chance. And if we're patiently waiting for the Penguins to win, I'm awful at it. Honestly, if this series manages to go to 7 games the momentum swing will be so extreme that it might give viewers whiplash.
2. Be honest, at this point how closely are you watching the games? When did you really start to check out?
Jeff: I've watched the Cup Finals intently. Even if there are two dud teams (Anaheim / Ottawa in '07) I still love to watch.
Ryan: After the second round I stopped playing close attention. I probably still watch a period or two on most night but I'm not really paying attention. Oh, and 17 nights to play the a seven game series is absolutely ridiculous.
Shona: When the Stars got knocked out. They were the team I was watching because I thought I would like to see them win it all.
Corey: I have checked out to some extent. The off days in the final kill it for me a bit if I don't have a horse in the race. Rounds 1 and 2 are great. 3's still decent, but my interest tends to drop around the final.
Zsolt: I checked out when the Oilers lost to NYI back in February.
Minnia: I usually have no trouble bandwagoning teams but I just feel nothing for either of these teams. I stopped after my two bandwagon teams (Blackhawks, Wild) both dropped out in the first round. I am a curse upon every team I cheer for. I might start cheering for the Flames and Bruins.
3. Who would get your vote for the Conn Smythe?
Shona: Feel like it's got to go to Murray because I don't know if the Flightless Birds would have gotten this far if they couldn't rely on him. Zatkoff was too inconsistent and Fluery hasn't looked great when he has played.
Ryan: I like Phil Kessel. My gut says it'll be Sidney Crosby.
Zsolt: Martin Jones
Jeff: Phil Kessel, because of the Steve Simmons hate. Seriously, he'd also be a fine candidate to win it.
Minnia: Philip Joseph Kessel, Jr. If Oilers fans are going to see Schultz lift a Cup, Leafs fans need to see Kessel win a Conn Smythe.
4. Are you a fun sponge like Guy Lafleur or do you think that the Sharks playoff beards are great?
Minnia: I feel my biggest learning from these Finals is a substantial education in the drastically varying quality of beards men can have. Sidney Crosby, in particular, taught me that it's possible to have a see-through beard. It's like magic!
Corey: I'm pro beard. I kind of like when they start clean-shaven and the beard is an indication of how long they've been in the playoffs. Obviously you can't get to Thornton's level that way. So I guess I can make an exception for a beauty like him.
Zsolt: I like the beards mainly because I can relate. If I don't shave every day I look like Brent Burns.
Jeff: Like baseball, hockey takes themselves too seriously. Lighten up. BONINO BONINO BONINO BONINO BONINOOOO
Shona: I'm a total fun sponge. I don't like facial hair so I spend the entire playoffs of any league cringing.