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Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Cup finals, Game 1: Who's on our radar

By ESPN.com


Who should you keep an eye on in tonight's Stanley Cup finals? Our experts weigh in:

Scott Burnside

Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins: The big winger has had an up-and-down playoffs with just three goals after ringing up 30 during the regular season. But he is a Vancouver native and has shown a propensity for ratcheting up his game when the stakes are the highest. Playing with David Krejci and Nathan Horton on the team’s top line, Lucic’s production will be crucial to the Bruins’ chances of upsetting the Canucks.

Pierre LeBrun

Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks: The Conn Smythe Trophy candidate is mum on his health status for this series, but it's a good bet he's not 100 percent heading into Game 1. Then again, who is at this time of year? He suffered what appeared to be a groin injury in Game 5 of the West finals against San Jose and the question is just how much he's healed during the week off he had between rounds. Kesler at 80 percent is better than most players at 100 percent, so we still expect big things from him.

Joe McDonald

Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins: If the Bruins are to have success in the Stanley Cup finals, it will be goaltender Tim Thomas who needs to stand on his head. The Vezina Trophy finalist as the league’s best goalie will be matched by fellow finalist Roberto Luongo, and it will no doubt be an epic duel of masked men. The Bruins would not be here if it weren’t for Thomas and he’ll need to set the tone in between the pipes.