Canucks: Looking at expert predictions for series vs. Blues


The Vancouver Canucks are set to clash with the St. Louis Blues in the opening round of the playoffs. Here is how the experts see it playing out.

After getting past the Minnesota Wild in the opening round of the playoffs, the Vancouver Canucks earned the opportunity to dethrone the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in the opening round of the playoffs.

This marks the fourth playoff meeting between the two teams. The Canucks defeated the Blues in the opening round of the 1995, 2003 and 2009 playoffs, with the first two requiring a seventh game.

But Elias Pettersson and company are major underdogs this time around. The Blues are the defending champions, after all. Even though they fell down to the No. 4 seed in round robin play, St. Louis topped the Western Conference with 94 points in the regular season.

While the Blues begin their championship defence, the Canucks will look to win their first playoff series since 2011.

Now, let’s see if the NHL experts think the Canucks can pull off the upset in round one.

  • 11 of the 15 experts are picking the defending champions. Sach Chandan, Sean Allen, Greg Wyshynski and Arda Ocal were the experts who chose Vancouver.
  • The Athletic (subscription required):  69.7 percent of staff writers chose the Blues.
  • Sporting News: Not only does Jackie Spiegel have the Canucks winning this series in seven games, she also has them defeating the Colorado Avalanche in round two (also seven games). Spiegel predicts the run to end against the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Final (six games).
  • Only three of the 16 experts (Amalie Benjamin, Dan Rosen and Brian Compton) have Vancouver winning this series.
  • Sportsnet: Justin Bourne has this series going the distance, with the Blues prevailing in seven.

Vancouver was widely regarded as the favourites against the Wild, and they managed to get past the more experienced team in a thrilling qualifying round series.

Next. Canucks: How they match up against the Blues. dark

But the Canucks will really have to bring their best hockey yet when they go up against the stronger, deeper and more skilled defending champions.