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Stanley Cup Final

Game 7 of Cup Final between Bruins, Blues debated by NHL.com

Experts lean toward Boston to defeat St. Louis, win championship at home

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

It all comes down to Game 7, when trends no longer matter, momentum is forgotten, heroes are made and legends are cemented. With that in mind, our roundtable staff made their predictions one final time to decide whether the St. Louis Blues or Boston Bruins will win Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS), and which player would win the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

A few writers changed their picks after the Bruins won 5-1 in Game 6 on Sunday, but not many. Here are their predictions for a Game 7 that won't soon be forgotten. 

 

[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]

 

Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

I fully expected the Bruins to win Game 6. Now, I fully expect them to win Game 7. I've watched this team on a daily basis for long enough to know that it's capable of pulling out the biggest moments on the biggest stages, led by a veteran core that is on the verge of becoming legendary. Toss in some sage pregame words from Patrice Bergeron -- add orator to his eventual Hall of Fame plaque -- and another great goaltending performance from Tuukka Rask, and it adds up to a Bruins win on home ice. The only problem is radio announcer Dave Goucher, now with the Vegas Golden Knights, won't get to utter his iconic words again: "Bergeron! Bergeron!" 

Final score: Bruins 4, Blues 1

MVP: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

Video: Discussing Rask's outstanding play in 2019 playoffs

 

Tim Campbell, staff writer

In the ebbs and flows of the Final, there have been stretches that would justify a strong case for each team. But it's been the Bruins' control of their own game, although not perfect in every period, that has been more reliable. Combine that with superior special teams, and those advantages should be enough to hoist the Cup. There is another trend in the playoffs this year that, while it won't directly affect Game 7 of the Final, is a trend nonetheless: home teams are 4-1 in Game 7s.

Final score: Bruins 3, Blues 1

MVP: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

 

Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist

I picked the Blues in six at the start of the series. They had their chance to prove me right and win the Cup on home ice, and now I think they have missed their opportunity. Though they are better on the road, though they are 2-1 in Boston, though they are known for wearing down the opposition, I think the Bruins have the edge in skating, skill and experience.

Final score: Bruins 4, Blues 1

MVP: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

 

William Douglas, staff writer

I picked the Blues to win in seven at the start of the series, so I'm staying put. St. Louis appeared to be caught up in the emotions of trying to win its first Stanley Cup championship in Game 6 before a pumped-up home crowd at Enterprise Center. There might be less pressure on the road, even in a hostile environment like TD Garden. Look for Vladimir Tarasenko to channel his inner Alex Ovechkin and be a force while Jordan Binnington has his best game of the series and wins his 10th playoff road game.

Final score: Blues 3, Bruins 2

MVP: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

 

Tom Gulitti, staff writer

The Bruins survived an early push from the Blues in Game 6 thanks to Rask (28 saves) and forced a Game 7 to spoil the plans for a postgame Stanley Cup celebration in St. Louis. It will be challenging for the Blues to rebound from that disappointment, and with Rask on a mission, the Bruins will finish their comeback and raise the Stanley Cup on home ice for the first time since they swept the Blues in the 1970 Cup Final. 

Final score: Bruins 4, Blues 1

MVP: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

 

Tracey Myers, staff writer

OK, so the Blues didn't win the first Stanley Cup championship in their history on home ice. I picked them in seven before the series started, and I'm guessing they'll be just as happy when they win it in Boston on Wednesday. The Blues are 9-3 on the road in the playoffs, and I expect them to add one final win to that in Game 7. Binnington will respond well after a loss, as he's done all postseason, and I expect forwards Ryan O'Reilly and Tarasenko to be their best players.

Final score: Blues 3, Bruins 1

MVP: Ryan O'Reilly, Blues 

Video: BOS@STL, Gm6: O'Reilly scores to tie club record

 

Shawn P. Roarke, Senior Director of Editorial

After avoiding elimination in Game 6, the Bruins are going to finish the job Wednesday and make the first Cup Final Game 7 at home in their history a night to remember. Rask has allowed more than two goals twice in his past 11 games, and although those two were to St. Louis, if he can limit the Blues to two or fewer Wednesday, the Bruins will generate enough offense to win. 

Final score: Bruins 4, Blues 2

MVP: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

 

Dan Rosen, senior writer

I picked the Bruins to win in seven games before the series began. I can't go away from it now. Rask has been the Bruins' rock throughout the playoffs, and that will continue. He won't wilt now. Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak will step up in the big moment, as they usually do. The Blues inability to score on the power play (1-for-18 in the series) will cost them. It's been 18 weeks since Boston held a championship parade. Gear up for another one.

Final score: Bruins 3, Blues 1

MVP: Tuukka Rask

 

Dave Stubbs, columnist

Heading into the Final, I picked the Blues. What a fabulous story it would be now for them to win the first championship in their history, having risen off the January mat. But as much as I believe that momentum is highly overrated in a playoff series, the Bruins' convincing Game 6 win found them another gear. Their motivation to win the Cup at home is off the charts. Rask long ago shed whatever uncomplimentary labels were attached to him. Zdeno Chara and Bergeron are beasts, each in his own unique way. This one is Boston's. And its championship will come on the 40th anniversary of Bruins icon Bobby Orr being elected, at age 31, the youngest member of the Hall of Fame, so there's that, too.

Final score: Bruins 4, Blues 2

MVP: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

 

Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

I've been pro-Blues all the way through, but I really thought they squandered a chance to put Boston away in Game 6. It was all there for them, playing at home for the chance to win the first Stanley Cup championship in their history. Instead, they lost and gave the Bruins another chance. Bergeron has won an IIHF World Championship, two Olympic gold medals, a Stanley Cup, the list goes on and on. I'm not about to go against him now.

Final score: Bruins 4, Blues 1

MVP: Tuukka Rask

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Listen: Game 7 preview from NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast

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