Three reasons why the Canucks will make quick work of the Predators in the NHL Playoffs

The 2024 NHL Playoffs are one of those strange postseasons, especially in the Western Conference. While teams from the East had no problem attracting the mediocre New York Islanders and Washington Capitals, and even to some extent, the Tampa Bay Lightning, that was not the case in the West. For example, the Vancouver Canucks probably didn’t mind finishing second in the conference if it meant playing the top wild card team, the Nashville Predators.

This is because, aside from a few sensational runs where the Preds went 13-3-0 at one point in the season and 17-2-2 another, they were not a good hockey team. Let’s not be so rash as to assume the pedestrian Predators will show up, but if Nashville doesn’t bring the A-game that saw them go 30-5-2 in the aforementioned games, chances are the team that went 17- 25-3 over the course of the other 45 games will appear.

And that’s one of the few reasons why the Canucks will easily get the best of the Predators, I might add, in Round 1.

Overall, Juuse Saros had a down year, and although he came around towards the end of the season – especially during that 18-game stretch, Saros finished the year with a save percentage of .906 and a GAA of 2.86, although he still earned three shutouts. .

Certainly, Saros had a decent workload, with 64 games played this season. But that was no different than what we’ve seen from him over the past two years, when he was a serious Vezina candidate. He also allowed more goals than expected at even strength for the first time since 2018-19, and as a team Nashville ranked just 13th in goals allowed, putting him near the middle of the pack.

Meanwhile, only six teams have scored more than the Canucks, who have scored 279 goals this season, or 3.4 per game. Vancouver also has high-scoring players like JT Miller, Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser, while few have recorded more assists this season than Quinn Hughes.

The Canucks are also relatively deep, with seven players scoring at least 17 goals and three scoring 34 times or more on the season. If they can keep this consistency going into Round 1 of the 2024 postseason, they can easily get the best of Nashville.