Here’s a roundup of ESPN Boston predictions for the Stanley Cup finals between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks.
• ESPNBoston.com Bruins reporter Joe McDonald: Bruins in 7. In order to have success in the Cup final, the Bruins will need to continue to lean on the solid goaltending of Tim Thomas and the defensive effort in front of him. The other key for Boston will be production from the top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. If those guys produce, expect the Black and Gold’s Cup drought to come to an end.
• ESPNBoston.com Radio’s Adam Jones: Canucks in 5. Everyone keeps telling me how even these two teams are, but I just don't see it. The Canucks are great on special teams, the Sedin and Kesler lines are explosive and Roberto Luongo is every bit as good as Tim Thomas. Vancouver has improved through each round of the playoffs and proved it was the best team in the NHL by a wide margin during the regular season. The Canucks will prove it again in this series.
• ESPNBoston.com Bruins reporter James Murphy: Bruins in 6. This is probably one of the best possible matchups hockey fans could have asked for in the Stanley Cup finals. Both the Bruins and Canucks bring a little bit of everything: grit, physicality, speed, size, skill, defense and of course goaltending. That's why I see this series going at least six games, but I believe the Bruins will prevent the series from going back to Vancouver and hoist their first Stanley Cup since 1972 on TD Garden ice.
• ESPNBoston.com’s Brendan Hall: Canucks in 6. The Bruins have the pieces to pull this one off -- an elite shutdown defenseman, a goalie capable of stealing games, driving power forwards -- but I just think Vancouver's speed will be too much of a tax. On a related note, can't wait to see what antics the "Green Men" come up with for Games 1 and 2.
• ESPNBoston.com Radio’s Andrew Brooks: Canucks in 5. The Bruins have made a spectacular run and have proven they can win big games (two Game 7 victories this postseason) but the Canucks have too much offensive firepower and I'll always take great offense over great defense. The Sedin brothers and Ryan Kesler will prove to be too much for the Bruins to handle and the play of Roberto Luongo will separate these two teams. Tim Thomas may be this year's Vezina Trophy winner but Luongo has won on the biggest of stages before, and will prove to be the best goalie the Bruins have seen all playoffs.
Check out ESPN.com’s picks HERE and leave your picks in the comments section of this blog entry. Disagree with Adam and Andrew picking the Canucks? Let them know about it from noon-2 p.m. weekdays on ESPN Boston Radio.