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Stanley Cup Final predictions

NHL.com writers, editors make picks for champion, Conn Smythe winner

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The Boston Bruins will win the Stanley Cup and goalie Tuukka Rask will be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player of the postseason, according to predictions by NHL.com writers and editors.

Of the 15 to make predictions for the Final between the Bruins and St. Louis Blues, which starts with Game 1 at TD Garden on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS), nine picked the Bruins to win it all and six believe Rask will take home the Conn Smythe.

Of course, the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs have not been kind to our panel of experts, with only two -- Editor-in-Chief Bill Price and senior writer Dan Rosen -- carrying a winning record (they are each 8-6) into the final round. Eleven will finish with losing records, and two -- fantasy editor Pete Jensen and senior director of editorial Shawn P. Roarke -- are 7-7 heading into the Final.

Jensen, deputy managing editor Brian Compton and staff writer Tom Gulitti did pick the Bruins to win the Cup at the start of playoffs, and Rosen and staff writer Tracey Myers each picked the Blues to reach the Cup Final before the first round. 

Though Rask got six picks to win the Conn Smythe, Blues goalie Jordan Binnington was selected by three to win be named MVP while Blues forward Jaden Schwartz and Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron got two picks each, and Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko and Bruins forward Brad Marchand got one pick each.

Here are our staffers' picks for the Cup Final.

 

Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

Conference finals record: 1-1
Overall record: 6-8

PICK: Bruins in 5

WHY: Though going 10 days between games certainly will not help them, the Bruins have been rolling since the Eastern Conference Second Round. They have a rock-solid goaltender, veterans who have been through this before, and a bunch of hungry young players. They have depth scoring in Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson and are light on injuries heading into the Stanley Cup Final. That all adds up to a win for Boston and their second Cup championship this decade.

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

 

Tim Campbell, staff writer

Conference finals record: 0-2
Overall record: 5-9

PICK: Bruins in 5

WHY: It's no more complicated than these two factors: Tuukka Rask has been exceptional in goal for the Bruins during the playoffs and it will make a difference. Second, the cost to advance through the Western Conference has been much higher than through the Eastern Conference. Through those lenses, the Bruins look primed to win the Cup.

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

 

Brian Compton, deputy managing editor

Conference finals record: 1-1
Overall record: 5-9

PICK: Bruins in 7

WHY: My pick to win the Stanley Cup at the start of the playoffs, the Bruins, have the depth in every area -- especially experience -- to win what I feel is going to be a fantastic series, and they will benefit from playing the deciding game in front of their fans at TD Garden.

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Brad Marchand, Bruins

 

Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist

Conference finals record: 1-1
Overall record: 6-8

PICK: Blues in 6

WHY: Nothing scientific. It just seems like destiny. The Bruins might be better on paper, but the Blues have gone from last in the NHL on Jan. 3 to the Stanley Cup Final. They're deep, physical, stingy defensively. Play "Gloria."

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Jaden Schwartz, Blues

 

William Douglas, staff writer

Conference finals record: 1-1
Overall record: 5-9

PICK: Blues in 7

WHY: The Blues already have defied the odds by rising from last place in the NHL in early January to making the playoffs to winning the Western Conference. So why stop now? If the Bruins' 10 days between playoff games cools the hot goaltending of Tuukka Rask, the Blues have a shot at shedding the tag of being the only remaining 1967-68 expansion team that hasn't won the Stanley Cup.

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues

 

Tom Gulitti, staff writer

Conference finals record: 1-1
Overall record: 6-8

PICK: Bruins in 6

WHY: The Bruins have been rolling, with seven straight wins entering the Cup Final. They are deep at forward and on defense, 19 players have scored goals during the playoffs, and goalie Tuukka Rask is playing the best hockey of his career.

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

 

Pete Jensen, senior fantasy editor

Conference finals record: 1-1
Overall record: 7-7

PICK: Bruins in 6

WHY: The Bruins navigated the loaded Atlantic Division and could not be better equipped for the Stanley Cup Final; their core players have been here before, a disciplined Brad Marchand counters the physical St. Louis Blues attack, and a dominant, well-rested Tuukka Rask is poised to finally win it all as a starter. The city of Boston's run as title town continues.

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

 

Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor

Conference finals record: 0-2 
Overall record: 4-10

PICK: Blues in 6

WHY: The Blues' wonderful run since January shows no signs of slowing. They'll have the right amount of rest before the Final starts, where the Bruins will have had way too much time off and have trouble rediscovering their groove. Get ready for the summer of "Gloria."

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Jordan Binnington, Blues

 

Mike G. Morreale, staff writer

Conference finals record: 2-0
Overall record: 6-8

PICK: Blues in 7

WHY: The Blues are 7-2 and have scored a League-high 31 goals in nine road games during the playoffs. On top of that, rookie goalie Jordan Binnington appears to be the only player at the position capable of going save for save with the Bruins' Tuukka Rask. Vladimir Tarasenko has eight points (three goals, five assists) during a six-game point streak and Jaden Schwartz already has scored more goals (12) in 19 playoff games than he did in 69 regular-season games (11).

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Jordan Binnington, Blues

 

Tracey Myers, staff writer

Conference finals record: 0-2
Overall record: 3-11

PICK: Blues in 7

WHY: As good as the Bruins are, I think this is the Blues' time. From their worst-to-first regular season to goaltender Jordan Binnington's success to their forward depth, the Blues have it all and will win their first Stanley Cup.

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Jaden Schwartz, Blues

 

Bill Price, Editor-in-Chief

Conference finals record: 2-0
Overall record: 8-6

PICK: Bruins in 6

WHY: The Blues appear to be a team of destiny, just like the Vegas Golden Knights were last season, the Nashville Predators in 2017 and the San Jose Sharks in 2016. But in those Finals experience gave destiny a reality check. The Bruins are the better, deeper and more experienced team and they are destined to win the Cup. When it's all over, Brad Marchand will be playing "Gloria."

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Patrice Bergeron, Bruins

 

Shawn Roarke, senior director of editorial

Conference finals record: 2-0
Overall record: 7-7

PICK: Bruins in 7

WHY: These teams are almost mirror images of each other. They are big, heavy and deep, and each has an elite goalie. So what will be the difference? Experience. The Bruins core is in its third Final since 2011 while the Blues have two skaters that have been to the Final. In such an evenly matched series, the experience of handling the biggest stage will be the difference.

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Patrice Bergeron, Bruins

 

Dan Rosen, senior writer

Conference finals record: 2-0
Overall record: 8-6

PICK: Bruins in 7

WHY: I worry about the long layoff for the Bruins, who will have 10 days between games, but it's not enough to sway my opinion. They have responded to adversity throughout the playoffs, including victories in two must-win games against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, rebounding from being down 2-1 in the series against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round and overcoming a brutal first period in Game 3 against the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final. They'll rely on their experience and depth to respond to the long layoff, overcome it and get enough from goalie Tuukka Rask in the end to win it.

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

 

Dave Stubbs, columnist

Conference finals record: 1-1
Overall record: 3-11

PICK: Bruins in 6

WHY: My heart says Cinderella St. Louis, but my head says Boston, which for the second time in a half-century will deny the Blues' dream in the Final. Boston's top line will come at St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington in waves. But Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are just a part of a Bruins roster that seemingly is tailor-made for the playoffs: deep up front, robust on defense, and a wall in goal in Tuukka Rask.

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Tuukka Rask, Bruins

 

Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

Conference finals record: 1-1
Overall record: 4-10

PICK: Blues in 7

WHY: Flipped a coin and it came up Blues. That's it. I like both a lot. I've covered each of these teams this postseason and learned this -- they are mirror images of each other with a unique blend of skill and sandpaper. Two-out-of-three flips and it might have been the Bruins.

CONN SMYTHE WINNER: Jordan Binnington, Blues

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