WDYTT: Your official prediction for Canucks v. Predators in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Photo credit:© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
8 days ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet that pairs well with listening to Police classics.
Speaking of messages in bottles, hello. This is one. We’re speaking to you from the past, and you’re in the future, holding on to significantly more knowledge than we currently have on hand.
As we’re writing this, we know most of what we need to know. We know that the Vancouver Canucks have clinched a spot in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We know that they’ve secured home-ice advantage to start through their winning the Pacific Division. We know that the playoffs will start this upcoming weekend, and exactly as of this writing, we do know that the Canucks will face off against Luke Schenn and the Nashville Predators in Round One!
What we don’t know, as of this writing, is exactly when Game 1 goes down. And we just got the big Nashville news moments ago!
But not you. It’s all old news for you, living in the future. By now, you’ve known about it being Canucks v. Predators in Round One for a few days, and you’ve probably already read the first of many playoff preview articles on this very site. And that means you’re ready to provide us with information that can only ever really come from you: your own personal playoff predictions.
For now, we’ll stick just to Round One. Today, we’re asking:

What is your official prediction for Round One: Vancouver Canucks versus Nashville Predators?

(Feel free to extend this prediction as far as you see fit, including the performance of individual Canucks and even some key Preds, if you must. But definitely include, at the very least, who is winning and in how many games!)
Let it be known in the comment section.
Last week, we asked:

Who was the Canucks’ LEAST replaceable player in 2023/24?

You answered below!
bruce donice:
It would cost the Canucks a lot to replace Quinn Hughes. As there is no way they could replace his value to the team without figuring double his salary as it is now. As the Canucks would have to get at least two players at the $7.5 million mark to replace the things Quinn does, and still not replace what he does for the team.
Quinn Hughes. Full stop.
Without Captain Quinn, the Canucks would get the puck out of their own end maybe one out of every eight breakouts. Absent #43, we’d be resorting to the Kings 1-3-1 trap or constant glass-and-out strategies. There are at least four other D on the Avalanche besides Makar who can carry the puck up the ice. Who else on the Canucks D can? Zadorov sometimes, Chaos Giraffe if he’s not putting into his own net, sometimes Hronek. Captain Irreplaceable.
The answer is obvious. Three words: blue line savant.
defenceman factory:
If your MVP isn’t your least replaceable player why is he your MVP? A distinction without a difference.
We’ve seen the Canucks struggle to adjust to injuries of Soucy, Joshua, and Demko. Luckily, they have not had to adjust to injuries to Hughes or Miller. Those would be insurmountable.
The Canucks offence and PP is so geared to run through Hughes, it’s tough to imagine how they could play without him. The simple answer is: differently. Adjusting to injuries of star players is something all coaches must deal with eventually. Sometimes the adversity forces the coach to adapt systems and line-ups to deal with the loss. In doing so they find new ways to succeed.
There is no other player on the Canucks who could come close to what Hughes does especially on offence and zone exits. I wonder how the Canucks would have adjusted if he was gone for awhile.
There is only one man who can wheel the puck through the neutral zone at will and that man is Quinn Hughes.
Fortunately this team has not had to see what life would be like without Hughes and I hope they all step up to protect him from the cheapshots that are bound to come in the playoffs.
There is really only one or two other defenders anywhere close to his level in the entire NHL and those players are comparable only on skill, but don’t bring the intangibles like leadership and dedication that Hughes brings.
Has to be the Mighty Quinn. There have been plenty of great forwards and goaltenders throughout the Canucks history, but Quinn is the first truly franchise defenseman.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
Choosing a least replaceable player in a season in which the Canucks haven’t had to replace most of the leading candidates makes for more candidates still being in the discussion, while the level of play of one of the players this season cuts down on those who would choose other candidates. Often the choice would be the #1 goalie and there is no question the Canucks have struggled to replace him, but there is one player who has not only been effective defensively but dominates zone entries, zone exits, and possession in the offensive zone so much that the Canucks’ style of play is substantially different when he’s not on the ice. I’ll join the crowd going with Hughes.
Hughes, Demko, and JT. In that order.
Craig Gowan:
It’s Quinn Hughes and it’s not particularly close. Other top-10 D in the NHL are simply not available to replace him. He’s the pillar of the Canucks’ D, PP1, and the metrics when he’s on the ice are fantastic, especially compared to the team’s metrics when he isn’t on the ice.
Cagey Vet:
There is zero doubt the answer to this question is Quinn Hughes.
Stephan Roget:
Stepping in a bit with my opinion here to rebut those saying that “Least Replaceable” is exactly the same as “Most Valuable.”
Most would agree that the Canucks’ MVP this year was Quinn Hughes. Most seem to have also selected him as the Least Replaceable Player. In my mind, he’s both, but there’s more of an argument for a few others to win “LRP” than there is for “MVP.”
Imagine a season in which the Canucks were without Thatcher Demko from October onward. A full season of the DeSmith/Silovs show almost certainly has the Canucks outside of the playoff picture. You can cobble together a blueline, but you can’t cobble together a goaltending situation.
Then there’s JT Miller, who has become one of the most unique specimens in the NHL. Look, Hughes is one of a kind, too, but there are at least comparables out there, like your Roman Josis and your Cale Makars. Now think of all the attributes that Miller brings to the table. Is there really ANYONE else like him in the league at this point? And if not, could that not make him the Least Replaceable Player?
As I said, my vote probably goes to Hughes all the same. But there’s wiggle room here.
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