If the Vancouver Canucks qualify for the postseason, which opponent should they hope to draw? A look at the possibilities.
Entering play on Thursday, the Vancouver Canucks are four points clear of the Arizona Coyotes and Winnipeg Jets, who are right below the playoff bar.
But the Canucks four games in hand on the Coyotes, and three on the Jets. So their cushion should be viewed as something closer to seven points. At any rate, it’s going to be hard for either of those teams to pass Vancouver in the standings.
And it would take quite the collapse for the Canucks to miss out entirely. They just have to finish better than one of the following teams: The Vegas Golden Knights (78 points), Edmonton Oilers (74 points), Calgary Flames (72 points) and Nashville Predators (70 points).
I’m not saying you should schedule your April playoff party yet, but it’s truly hard to envision Vancouver unraveling and missing out entirely on the postseason at this point.
So let’s just play the fun game and assume the Canucks are going to enter the postseason. Who would be the ideal playoff opponent, between all the teams listed above?
I grouped all of the potential opponents in three tiers, starting from least desirable to most desirable. So let”s get to it.
For starters, we can all agree that Vancouver won’t want to face Vegas. They have the deepest roster in the Pacific Division, and the 2018 Western Conference champions are rolling with seven straight wins. This is the last team Vancouver wants to play.
Now, let’s look at the rest of the opponents.