Bob Peace - USA TODAY Sports

2024 Stanley Cup Playoff Preview: Vancouver Canucks vs. Edmonton Oilers

The 2024 playoff series between the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers was absolutely vicious. It featured fierce and often cruel inter-provincial insults, brutal arguments and debates between fanbases, and a level of mutual ugliness rarely seen in the sport.

What's that? You're telling me it hasn't even started yet?

Ever since the Oilers made a coaching change and pressed the big “stop letting every shot go in the net” button back in November, this has been an inevitable and deeply desired battle for the Pacific Division crown that is predictably bringing out the best in both fanbases.

In one corner, an Oilers team that has transitioned from annual disappointment to playoff competitor to Cup favourite in the past five years and seems to be at the absolute apex of its championship contention. With elite top talent and a roster that actually seems to have some depth, this team would never live it down if Connor McDavid's best chance at Lord Stanley was stymied by Vancouver.

In the other, a Canucks squad that was written off early in the season by some foolish analytics writers as an early season percentage-driven cliché managed to hang on to the Pacific Division title and guarantee home ice advantage through the first two rounds even as their shooting regressed and their goaltending faltered. Now a campaign that seemed like found money is suddenly an opportunity to prove everybody wrong and absolutely madden one of their greatest rivals,

My playoff previews are heavily informed by data, using both macro- and micro-level statistics gathered by TopDownHockey and AllThreeZones, respectively. This allows us to look not only at high-level results (like goals, shots, and expected goals) but also the stylistic process that creates them (like passes, shot types, and transition play) to get a better sense of how the teams match up. Instead of comparing offence to offence and defence to defence, I'll be breaking down the offence vs. defence matchup.

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This article is about:
NHL Edmonton Oilers Vancouver Canucks NHL Brock Boeser Evan Bouchard Thatcher Demko Leon Draisaitl Filip Hronek Quinn Hughes Connor McDavid J.T. Miller Elias Pettersson Stuart Skinner Pius Suter
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