Head to Head: How the Vancouver Canucks and Predators match up

A head-to-head comparison of the Vancouver Canucks and the Nashville Predators ahead of their first-round playoff series.
The Vancouver Canucks are set to face the Nashville Predators in the first round of the playoffs.
The Vancouver Canucks are set to face the Nashville Predators in the first round of the playoffs. / Donald Page/GettyImages
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Defensemen

Quinn Hughes: 82 GP, 17 G, 75 A, 92 P, +38

Roman Josi: 82 GP, 23 G, 62 A, 85 P, +12

While Quinn Hughes is the favourite to win the Norris Trophy in most people’s books, his toughest competitor is probably Roman Josi. Both players were offensive forces, both placing second in points on their respective teams. While Hughes’ defensive play has been the difference-maker for him this year, Josi also excels in his own end. Josi also kills penalties, which Hughes only does on occasion.

Both are exceptional defensemen and both will be key factors in any success their teams have in the playoffs, but Hughes has been the better player this season and it could very well continue that way in the playoffs.

Filip Hronek: 81 GP, 5 G, 43 A, 48 P, +33

Ryan McDonagh: 74 GP, 3 G, 29 A, 32 P, +19

If Filip Hronek stays on his current trajectory, his career will likely be comparable to that of Ryan McDonagh. Both are excellent two-way defensemen who have — or will have — spent the bulk of their careers playing with elite defensemen. McDonagh, of course, has a trophy room full of shiny toys, but when Hronek has played as long as McDonagh has, he could very likely have an impressive trophy case of his own.

For the purposes of this playoff series, McDonagh has more experience but Hronek is the better defenseman right now. For that reason, the point goes to Hronek — although McDonagh’s playoff experience could prove invaluable.

Carson Soucy: 40 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 P, +10

Dante Fabbro: 56 GP, 3 G, 10 A, 13 P, +9

Carson Soucy is the reincarnation of Sami Salo: He makes the Canucks a much better team when he plays, but he’s made of flimsy glass — the type that breaks when you put any weight on it whatsoever. If he can stay healthy in the playoffs, the Canucks will have a better chance at success.

Dante Fabbro, a native of Coquitlam, has played a big role for the Predators for a few years now. He signed a one-year contract extension in March which will take him to unrestricted free agency at the end of next season, so he’s hoping to really show his value now.

Soucy is bigger, more experienced, and, frankly, a better player than Fabbro. He gets the point here, although it comes with an asterisk that he has to stay healthy.