A roundup of Game 7 predictions from the ESPNBoston.com staff. Leave your Game 7 prediction in the comments section:
|• Jackie MacMullan: Bruins 2, Canucks 1: Bruins rookie Brad Marchand gets under Vancouver's skin one more time.||• Gordon Edes -- Bruins 3, Canucks 1: Tim Thomas crosses the threshold from great performer to legend in Game 7.|
• James Murphy -- Bruins 1, Canucks 0: This has been the series of home teams and of goaltending. But one goalie has stayed consistently good throughout the series and he hasn't needed anyone to pump his tires and boost his confidence. Three years ago when Tim Thomas walked off the Bell Centre ice after allowing five goals in a Game 7 first-round loss to the hated Canadiens, many wondered if Thomas had the mental fortitude to handle the pressure cooker that is the Stanley Cup playoffs. In 2009, he lost another Game 7 to Carolina with many (maybe even Roberto Luongo) once again questioning him on Scott Walker's overtime winner. But after sitting and watching the playoffs with a hip injury last season, Thomas has roared back and proven to be the strongest goalie mentally and physically while his counterpart has gone through a case of Jekyll and Hyde. It's Game 7 and anything can happen so you throw the home ice out the window but you never throw out the goaltending. I'll take Thomas' mental fortitude over Luongo's right now.
• Chris Forsberg -- Canucks 2, Bruins 1: So long as Vancouver players have learned to keep their mouths shut and don't poke the bear (again) before the puck drops on Wednesday, the Canucks have the single biggest advantage with home ice. A raucous arena has a way of allowing a team to forget all of its troubles away from those friendly confines. Let's not forget that Luongo on home ice (10-3, 1.7 GAA, 94.3 save percentage) has been every bit as good as Thomas on his home ice (10-3, 1.78 GAA, 94.5 save percentage). First team to score wins here (though it won't be a single-goal game) and the guess is Vancouver puts Boston on its heels early and escapes.
• Mike Reiss -- Bruins 2, Canucks 1: Grew up a Bruins fan in the 1980s and early ‘90s, playing the roles of Middleton, Bourque, Neely, Kasper, Moog, Lemelin and Co. in our driveway street hockey games, but the passion for the Spoked-B faded over time. This run has brought it back, and with Game 7 on the horizon, there is a heart vs. head conflict. The heart says go with the Bruins. The head says a home team has yet to lose and that it will be the Canucks. I'm going with the heart.
• Adam Jones -- Bruins 4, Canucks 2: The Bruins finally overcome their struggles in Vancouver by beating the Canucks. Vancouver native Milan Lucic scores twice, while Thomas caps his magical postseason run with 35 saves and the Conn Smythe Trophy. Luongo is pulled for the third time in the Stanley Cup finals.
• Drew Brooks -- Bruins 6, Canucks 1: I know I originally picked the Canucks in 5 but I don't see how the Bruins can lose a Game 7, especially after Daniel Sedin guaranteed a Canucks victory. Thomas is not only the better goaltender in the series he has been the best player on the ice. The Bruins will finally win in Vancouver (wouldn't a Tomas Kaberle or Zdeno Chara goal be nice?) and they'll do so in impressive fashion, once again sending Luongo to the bench early.
• Brendan Hall -- Bruins 2, Canucks 1: If the Bruins lose, I still think Thomas becomes the first member of a losing team to win the Conn Smythe since Jean-Sebastien Giguere's ridiculous 2003 campaign.