|ESPN.com: News & Opinion||[Print without images]|
Team USA and Team Canada usually take opposing sides on all things hockey, fighting for Olympic gold and world championships. This time, however, they appear to agree on one thing: picking Vancouver to win the Stanley Cup.
Forward Meghan Agosta: Canucks
"I choose Vancouver, not only because they are a Canadian team, but because when the Winter Olympics were in Calgary in 1988, Calgary won the Cup [the next year, and] when the Summer Olympics were in Montreal in 1976, Montreal also won the Cup. Now that we just had the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I want the Canucks to bring it home."
Forward Gillian Apps: Canucks
"Canucks in four. Went to school with Tanner Glass. Looking forward to seeing him lift the Cup."
Defenseman Tessa Bonhomme: Canucks
"I'm going with the Canucks, obviously, but am predicting a pretty good series. Both teams have goaltenders who have a history of being hot, or absolutely not. Tim Thomas, with his random theatrics in net, is going to have a tough time with the consistent offensive threats from not only the Canucks' top two lines, but from all four. Not to mention the Canucks' defensemen have gained a lot of confidence during the last series versus the Sharks. While Boston is a very talented hockey team, I don't think they are nearly as deep as Vancouver. I'm guessing series ends in six."
Forward Caroline Ouellette: Canucks
"I predict Vancouver in six! I love watching Vancouver play, especially the Sedin twins. They have amazing poise and are so deceptive with the puck. Vancouver has great offensive talent and speed, yet are a disciplined team defensively. I think [Roberto] Luongo will be the better goalie of the two. And the Canucks will be inspired by the incredible return of Manny Malhotra. And what's better than bringing the Stanley Cup back to Vancouver a little over one year after the Vancouver Olympic gold medal performance in a city that hosted the game, amazingly!"
Forward Hayley Wickenheiser: Bruins
"Well, seeing as my beloved Oilers aren't in the finals, I will cheer for Vancouver to win the Cup, as they are Canadian and we haven't had a Cup in Canada for a while! Hoping the 'Olympic Effect' will happen, which is [that] every [city] that has hosted the Olympics has won the Cup right after. I think, however, Boston will win, as they are so good defensively, and strong. In the end, goaltending will make the difference."
Forward Sarah Vaillancourt: Canucks
"Vancouver in six … The Vancouver fans breathe hockey and the Boston fans only care about basketball and baseball, and because we want the Cup back in CANADA where it belongs!"
Defenseman Angela Ruggiero: Bruins
"Boston all the way! Tim Thomas in net is unreal … he is the backbone of that team -- he has character, athleticism and is a brick wall. Add Zdeno Chara to the mix at 6-foot-8 and the 'D' will bring the Bruins the Cup!"
Forward Monique Lamoureux-Kolls: Canucks
"Vancouver. The Sedin line is my favorite line in the NHL for obvious reasons. I think they have a complete team this year. They are a very offensive team, but they are tough; they lead the playoffs in hits. [Roberto] Luongo is hot, and you need a hot goalie to have a chance. I think Vancouver will win in six."
Forward Kelli Stack: Canucks
"Vancouver will win the Stanley Cup in six games for several reasons. First, they have the Sedin twins who are bound to put up major points. Second, it is probably safe to say Boston is incapable of winning the series without home-ice advantage. Third, Vancouver has solid defensemen who can score goals as well as keep them out of their own net, and Boston lacks scoring from their defense. Fourth, Vancouver has the better power play by far, and Boston is lucky to still be alive in the playoffs with their lack of a power play. Fifth, Vancouver has the X factor in Ryan Kesler, who will have the biggest impact in the series. When it comes to goaltending both teams are pretty evenly matched. Although I am rooting for the Bruins to win so I can take part in the celebration parade in Boston, I just don't know if their heart and hard work will be able to outdo the Canucks."
Forward Jenny Potter: Canucks
"Vancouver. They have more depth and tough players."
Defenseman Caitlin Cahow: Bruins
"Boston. Championships are won in net, and right now we have the hottest goaltender in the league [in Tim Thomas]. He has been winning games for us throughout the playoffs and only seems to get better with each game. Our young players like [Tyler] Seguin and [Nathan] Horton are playing strong and producing, and our veterans like [Milan] Lucic and [Mark] Recchi are starting to heat up and continue to provide great leadership. With [Patrice] Bergeron looking healthy and [Zdeno] Chara running show at the point and in the D zone, I think our chances are looking good."
Forward Hilary Knight: Canucks
"Although Boston's goaltender Tim Thomas is red hot, I believe the Canucks will win the Stanley Cup because of their offensive power that has made finding the back of the net a habit, as well as great dynamic leadership. And who could leave out Ryan Kesler's contagious determination and effort?"