10 Questions: Stanley Cup finals

May, 29, 2011
5/29/11
12:46
PM ET

After weeks of playoff action, it's down to the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins. Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun answer these 10 burning questions for the Cup finals:

1. What can the Bruins do to make their power play more effective?

Burnside: Put Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas in front of Roberto Luongo. Seriously? Chara's a living screen. Shoot the puck, boys, shoot the puck.

LeBrun: They're standing still. It's not just about puck movement, it's about bodies not being stationary. You need to move in order to free up better passing/shooting lanes.

2. How will Daniel and Henrik Sedin perform against Chara?

Burnside: Did you ever see the movie "The Invisible Man"?

LeBrun: They will continue to light it up, just as they did in the Western Conference finals against the San Jose Sharks.

3. Which player is your Conn Smythe Trophy front-runner heading into the Cup finals?

Burnside: Hard to argue against the hacking, diving, chirping Ryan Kesler despite the Canucks forward's hacking, diving and chirping.

LeBrun: Scotty took Kesler, so I will throw out a dark horse in Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, who has been the best goalie in the playoffs since Game 7 of the first round against Chicago.

4. Which Tomas Kaberle will we see in the finals?

Burnside: Kaberle was pretty darn good in Game 7 against Tampa Bay, but he'll need to play more than seven or eight minutes a night at even strength to help take the pressure off Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the Bruins' dynamic defensive duo.

LeBrun: I predict Kaberle will net two power-play points in the Cup finals, which I'm sure Bruins fans will take.

5. Which team has the goaltending advantage: Vancouver (Luongo) or Boston (Thomas)?

Burnside: Tim Thomas. Wait until Luongo lets in that first goal and see how much love he gets from the fans and media in the city that apparently recently invented hockey.

LeBrun: There is no advantage. Both enter the Cup finals with identical goals-against averages (2.29) and both were superb in clinching games in the conference finals.

6. Which player will be the leading scorer in the series?

Burnside: David Krejci. Boston's big line that includes hometown Vancouverite Milan Lucic and clutch goal-scorer Nathan Horton will provide a credible counterbalance to the Sedin line.

LeBrun: Henrik Sedin. The twins will continue their magic, especially on the power play.

7. What one move have coaches Alain Vigneault and Claude Julien not used in the postseason that you would like to see in the Cup finals?

Burnside: Neither has put a white towel on top of a stick despite some interestingly officiated games in which their teams have played.

LeBrun: Vigneault inserting Manny Malhotra into the lineup. How inspiring would it be to see the Vancouver forward return after a serious eye injury in March?

8. Which team had a tougher road to the Cup finals?

Burnside: Boston. With two seven-game series, including an excruciatingly close series against Tampa in the conference finals, it has been the most arduous trip.

LeBrun: Given the superiority of the Western Conference, anyone who doesn't say Vancouver needs help. San Jose and Chicago are among the top five teams in the NHL and Nashville isn't far behind.

9. How will the travel between the cities affect the teams?

Burnside: Teams? Who cares about the teams? What about the media? Just kidding! Vancouver is used to the travel, so look for Boston to try to adapt.

LeBrun: The Bruins will be more affected because they've been used to sleeping in their own beds for most of the season thanks to short trips in the East.

10. The Green Men or Dropkick Murphys?

Burnside: Depends. If you're talking creepy and annoying, the Green Men; if you're talking a rockin' good time, Dropkick Murphys. TD Garden kicks out the jams better than any other building on the circuit, by the way. Home-ice advantage. That, and the cake tray, too.

LeBrun: I'm sticking with SJ Sharkie. We made up and we're friends now.

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