The panel (12-2 heading into this round, end up 12-3 after a VAN loss) is back for one more kick at the can! Four of our writers accurately predicted a Vancouver/Boston final – Ian Fergusson, Justin Goldman, Gates Imbeau, and Russ Miller. Gates leads the way with a stellar 12-2 record. On to the picks…
|Expert||VAN vs. BOS||Top Scorer||Top Scorer|
|Dobber||VAN in 6||H. Sedin||Horton|
|Jeff Angus||VAN in 6
||H. Sedin||P. Bergeron|
|Matt Bugg||VAN in 5
|Ryan Ma||VAN in 7||H. Sedin||Horton|
|Russ Miller||VAN in 5||D. Sedin|
|Ian Fergusson||VAN in 6||H. Sedin||Lucic|
|Justin Goldman||BOS in 7
|Gates Imbeau||VAN in 6||D. Sedin||Krejci|
|Marty Kwiaton||VAN in 7
|Anthony Lancione||VAN in 6
|Steve Laidlaw||VAN in 6||R. Kesler|
|Tim Lucarelli||VAN in 6
|Dave Poleck||VAN in 6
|Jeffrey Renaud||BOS in 7||D. Sedin||Krejci|
|Brian Kom||VAN in 5
|Consensus||VAN in 6
(will be updated as picks come in)
In goal I'd give the edge to Thomas right now, but not by much and if any goalie can match Thomas, it's Luongo. The rest of the Bruins team has shown they are a force to be reckoned with, but Vancouver is simply quicker and more skilled.
With all areas Forwards, Defense, and Goaltending being a wash, Vancouver wins the cup thanks to their special teams. Boston's PP is abysmal in the playoffs and that will haunt them against the Canucks.
Though I'll hate to see that silly Olympic host city trivia bit stay valid, I think the difference between the teams in pure talent is too much for Boston to overcome. Bruins have sandpaper, but Canucks do, too, plus a fair bit more.
Sedins are finally rolling in the playoffs and Luongo hasn't been better, but more consistent than Thomas. Van has 17 PP goals to Boston's five.
There's always the argument that Home Ice Advantage is slightly overrated in hockey, however, H.I.A. for a Canadian team is undoubtedly underrated. Recall the famed 'Red Mile' in Calgary. Recall the absolutely electric atmosphere in Edmonton(apparently hit highest decibels ever for a hockey game...yes ever), etc. Bobby Lou now has the opportunity to seriously 100% validate his legacy that was not defined in the Vancouver 2010 games due to all the star power in front of him.
I said at the start of the playoffs that I just couldn't bet against Tim Thomas. I know it's a trite comment to make, but I believe winning the Stanley Cup is his destiny. I also think Zdeno Chara becomes a distraction for Luongo, especially during Boston power play chances.
Vancouver's lone weakness through the first two rounds was a lack of production from the Sedins. With Daniel and Henrik now firmly in the game, it's tough to see how the Canucks can be stopped.
Vancouver's speed up front and on the back end will give the Bruins fits.
Boston has struggled a little getting to the final, while Vancouver has exorcised their playoff nemesis Chicago and made Shark bait out of San Jose. Getting Malhotra back will be an emotional boost and only add to the Canucks outclassing the Bruins.
The Canucks have all the tools, top to bottom. Two concerns:
1. Manny Malhotra rushing into the lineup and perhaps disrupting the roll they are on.
2. If this gets down to a Thomas vs. Luongo battle, then it will be Boston four straight. Kesler will still win the Conn Smythe
I’ve thought it was Vancouver’s time to finally hoist the Lord Stanley’s cup all season long but if there is one goalie that could somehow rise above the awesomeness that is Daniel and Henrik Sedin, it’s Tim Thomas. I believe ice literally runs through his veins and if a goalie is going to breakdown under pressure over the next two weeks, it will be Roberto Luongo not “Tank” Thomas.
Ma (ever the statistician):
Vancouver has home ice advantage, Luongo career 2.44 GAA and .933 sv% at TD bank center. Van PP% efficiency 28.2%, BOS PK 79.4. Van has edge in special teams.
I like Vancouver because they are the deeper team overall. They were my preseason pick to win it all, and I see no reason to jump ship.
The Sedin twins found their cycle against the Sharks defense - it will be much of the same against the Bruins. Vancouver will capitalize on their PP and off of Boston turnovers. Thomas may steal a game or two - but it will be too little too late. Canada finally gets their Cup.
The Canucks have so much offense and an excellent defense corps that the Bruins just can't match.