The Vancouver Canucks will face the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference First Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Canucks (50-22-9), the Pacific Division champions and No. 2 seed in the West, will have home-ice advantage in the best-of-7 series. The Predators (47-30-5) are the first wild card into the playoffs from the West.

Vancouver plays its regular-season finale at the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; TVAS, SNP, TSN3). Nashville finished its season with a 4-2 loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.

The postseason begins Saturday.

Vancouver and Nashville have faced each other once before in the playoffs, with the Canucks winning in six games in the 2011 Western Conference Semifinals.

Vancouver swept the three-game regular-season series between the two teams: The Canucks won 3-2 at the Predators on Oct. 24, 5-2 in Vancouver on Oct. 31 and 5-2 at Nashville on Dec. 19.

Who will win this series? That's the question before staff writers Derek Van Diest and Tracey Myers in this playoff edition of State Your Case.

Van Diest: The Canucks have been one of the best teams in the NHL all season and I don’t think that will change in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Coach Rick Tocchet got Vancouver to take its game to another level and it paid off with a first-place finish in the Pacific Division. The Canucks do lack playoff experience, qualifying for the first time in four seasons, but if they can get past early jitters and not let the pressure of expectations get to them, they should be able to defeat the Predators, who they swept during the regular season. Vancouver is a well-rounded team starting with goalie Thatcher Demko, who has returned from a knee injury, and on through defenseman Quinn Hughes and centers J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson. The Canucks have the potential to go on a long playoff run.

Myers: Everything you say about the Canucks and their chances of winning this series makes sense, Derek. But every postseason comes with upsets, and I think the Predators pull one off in this series. First, Nashville is always a tough out in the playoffs. Second, the Predators have a pretty balanced group, too. Forward Filip Forsberg had a monster season, with NHL career highs in goals (48), assists (46) and points (94) in 82 games. Four Nashville players had at least 69 points this season. Then there’s Roman Josi, who continues to be one of the steadiest defensemen in the League. Goalie Juuse Saros was 35-24-5 with a 2.86 goals-against average, .906 save percentage and three shutouts. Sure, those numbers don't quite measure up to Demko’s (35-13-2, 2.44, .918, five shutouts), but Saros started 14 more games than his Canucks counterpart this season (I know part of that is due to Demko’s injury, but there it is nonetheless). I just like Nashville’s balance.

See Canucks compete in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Van Diest: I agree with you, Tracey -- The Predators do play teams tough in the playoffs and they were a much better team toward the end of the season than they were at the beginning. All three of Vancouver’s wins against Nashville came before Christmas and the Predators did not start their 16-0-2 run until Feb. 17. I do think this will be a long series and depth will be a key factor. I believe the Canucks are a deeper team and if they can find a way to limit Forsberg, Josi and forward Gustav Nyquist, should win the series. Vancouver has elite offensive players in Miller (103 points), Hughes (91), Pettersson (89) and forward Brock Boeser (73). They also have an impressive supporting cast, including defenseman Filip Hronek (48 points) and forward Conor Garland (45 points). And there's also forward Nils Hoglander, who had a breakout season with 24 goals. I admire what the Predators did during the regular season and I do think there might be potential for an upset, but in the end, the Canucks are too deep and too well-coached to fall in the opening round after putting together one of the best seasons in their history.

Myers: Once again, all valid arguments for the Canucks. It’s just a sense I have that the Predators are ripe to pull off the upset. Center Ryan O'Reilly brings Stanley Cup experience from 2019, when he won that and the Conn Smythe Trophy with the St. Louis Blues. Nashville was a good road team this season (24-14-3) and considering how raucous Bridgestone Arena gets during the regular season and playoffs, the Predators won’t be intimidated by Rogers Arena. Most of all? I just believe Nashville is determined to make a run this season. Its 18-game point streak was incredible and it fueled a veteran group looking to capture the first Stanley Cup in Predators history. Do they get that far? I don’t know. But I do believe they’ll upset the Canucks.