Broadcasters 2011 Stanley Cup Final Picks
Vancouver should win according to three of our four analysts
Bob McElligott and Bill Davidge have identical 9-5 records with Bill getting five series exactly correct. George Matthews is second with an 8-6 record, while Jeff Rimer evens his mark at 7-7 record. Check out the predictions below and watch the Stanley Cup Finals to see how well the CBJ broadcasters.
JEFF RIMER (7-7, one exactly)
Boston/Vancouver - Canucks in 7... This is going to be a great series between these two teams. The week off should help the players recover from those bumps and bruises, and the players will need all the rest they can get with the travel schedule ahead. Roberto Luongo is coming off of the best playoff game in his career in the close out game vs. San Jose in the Western Conference Final, and maybe his best playoff series. He needs to make the difference for the Canucks and I predict he will. The deep blueline for Vancouver will again be a factor as they have been throughout the playoffs. Boston is probably even with Vancouver up front with the likes of Bergeron, Lucic and Horton (the Bruins have won every game in which Horton has scored a goal in these playoffs), but need more from Kaberle and Chara on the backend. Vancouver has a clear edge there.
GEORGE MATTHEWS (8-6, one exactly)
Boston/Vancouver - Canucks in 6... The Vancouver Canucks are in their 40th season in the NHL and have never won a Cup - losing in 1982 to NYI and 1994 to NYR. Vancouver has been effective on the power play and fine on the penalty kill and have a special teams edge vs. Boston, who has been woeful with the man advantage this postseason. Luongo has had an up and down playoffs but was show stopping in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals vs. San Jose. Thomas, like Luongo, has been in and out but has had some memorable performances with a few shutouts. Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis lead the charge for Vancouver from the backend and the line of D. Sedin-H. Sedin-Burrows is the highest scoring line in the playoffs. Add in Ryan Kesler's possible Conn Smythe performance and the Canucks have lots of fire power too. Zdeno Chara anchors the defense for Boston and has teamed well with Dennis Seidenberg, with both around 28 minutes per game. Nathan Horton is the only player in Stanley Cup Playoff history with two game seven winners in the same postseason. All that said, look for Vancouver to hoist the Cup.
BILL DAVIDGE (9-5, five exactly)
Boston/Vancouver - Canucks in 6... It's going to be a heck of a series this year for the Stanley Cup Final. The week off has allowed anticipation to build and players to rest for this battle. The Vancouver defenseman who were dinged up in the last round should benefit from that rest and the coaches will have both teams ready to play Wednesday night. Despite players and fans trying to get into his head, Roberto Luongo is showing he has something to prove and with four more wins will have a Stanley Cup and Gold Medal within the last 16 months. What is Boston's identity? They seem to be playing around with the power play and where to put Chara - why? Vancouver's identity is physical toughness and with the Sedins picking up their game the D and 3-4 lines can do their jobs. Boston won the regular season meeting 3-1 in Vancouver but I think the Canucks will finish what they started in October.
BOB McELLIGOTT (9-5, two exactly)
Boston/Vancouver - Boston in 6... This should be a very interesting final. One team has never won a Stanley Cup and the other hasn't won one since 1971, despite five final appearances since then. I know that Vancouver has the stronger team, but I think a more physical Bruins squad will prevail. Boston will have to wear down the Sedins and hope that they can contain Ryan Kesler (easier said than done). Having the huge presence of Zdeno Chara should help to make it tough to get to the Bruins net. In the battle of the goaltenders, I'm taking Tim Thomas. This has been a magical year for him and I think that it will end with a championship. Roberto Louongo has been very good to this point, but I predict he will be outplayed in this series.