Here's how folks around the U.S. and Canada see the Stanley Cup Finals between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks going down:
Boston Globe staff: Dupont, Shinzawa, and Gasper go with the Bruins, Shaughnessy, Ryan, and Hoban the Canucks.
Vancouver Sun staff: Only one out of 13 picks the Bruins. Yvonne Zacharias, the lone dissenter, writes, "It is easy to get caught up in Canuck fever in Vancouver but we have to remember that Beantown is just as hungry for a Stanley Cup as we are. It is going to be close but I give the Bruins an edge for the following reasons: Roberto Luongo's talents were honed in the hardscrabble Italian community of St. Leonard which is hinged to Montreal; Bruins goalie Tim Thomas's wizardry in net can only be described as God-given. Boston defenceman Zdeno Chara's talents cannot be under-estimated. He is an enigma. Sometimes the power of one in hockey can equal the power of many."
ESPN staff: Four out of six pick the Canucks. Steve Levy and Scott Burnside go with Boston.
ESPN Boston staff: Four out of six pick the Canucks. Joe McDonald and James Murphy pick Boston. "This is probably one of the best possible matchups hockey fans could have asked for in the Stanley Cup finals," Murphy writes. "Both the Bruins and Canucks bring a little bit of everything: grit, physicality, speed, size, skill, defense and of course goaltending. That's why I see this series going at least six games, but I believe the Bruins will prevent the series from going back to Vancouver and hoist their first Stanley Cup since 1972 on TD Garden ice."
Kevin Allen, USA Today: Canucks. "Unless the Bruins can magically transform their power play into a scoring machine, it will be the Canucks in six games."
The Hockey News: Vancouver. "When we were forecasting our Cup winner while doing our annual THN Yearbook last summer, we chose the Canucks, then changed our minds to the Bruins the next day, then went back to the Canucks the day after that. Indecisive? Yes. Geniuses? Yes again. Vancouver in six."
Greg Wyshynski, Yahoo sports: Vancouver. "The Bruins will play them tight, but the Canucks' depth, special teams and, let's face it, hockey voodoo will prevail - sending the Bruins to their sixth loss in the Finals since the 1972 Cup; winning the first Cup in Vancouver's franchise history; and the first for Canada since 1993."
Yahoo sports staff: Four out of five pick the Canucks.
TriKXi the Cow: Canucks.
Socks the Cat: Canucks.
Says here: I'll be in Burlington, Vt. on the night of a potential Game 5 for my 15-year college reunion, watching the game just down the hill from Gutterson Fieldhouse, where Tim Thomas starred for the University of Vermont. It's the city where I got to watch Ray Bourque raise the Stanley Cup in a gritty, underground bar 10 years ago when I was just five years removed from collegiate life. It would be somewhat fitting to see the reaction in that town should one of Vermont's hockey legends get to do the same.
I won't be watching Thomas raise the Cup while I'm there though. That will have to wait until Monday. In Boston.
Bruins in 6.