Edmonton Oilers: Led by leading scorer Leon Draisaitl and the game’s best player in Connor McDavid, Vancouver would be better off not having to worry about the super duo. These two rivals split the four-game season series.
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Their top-nine can give Vancouver plenty of problems too. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a superb two-way centre.
Newcomer Andreas Athanasiou possesses world-class speed that could cause problems for Vancouver’s less mobile blueliners. James Neal, with 55 points in 104 postseason games, would also be a cause for concern.
Calgary Flames: Vancouver has dropped two of three meetings against their biggest rivals. The Flames also boast a superb 19-13-2 record on the road, and they’ve caught fire (pun intended) under interim head coach Geoff Ward (21-13-2).
The Flames have the ideal combination of size, skill and speed all over their roster. This is not a great matchup for Vancouver on paper.
Tolerable, but not ideal
Winnipeg Jets: The Jets have won both meetings against the Canucks this season, and they swept the season series in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Vancouver hasn’t beaten Winnipeg since Dec. 2016, so you can see why the Jets aren’t the most ideal opponent here.
The Jets are barely hanging around in the playoff race thanks to world-class goalie Connor Hellebuyck and their big guns on offence. Winnipeg has five players with 50-plus points, led by Mark Scheifele‘s 68 and Kyle Connor‘s 64.
Not sure Vancouver would be keen on facing a team that 1. always beats them 2. owns a goalie that can steal a series and 3. boasts an elite top-six that can outmuscle Vancouver’s top scorers. Still, the questions on Winnipeg’s blue line would give Vancouver the advantage in a best-of-seven.
Also, this matchup can only realistically happen if Vancouver wins the Pacific, and if Winnipeg earns the top wild card spot.