Sunday, 20 May, 2018

NHL Western Conference final preview: Winnipeg Jets vs. Vegas Golden Knights

Winnipeg Jets strike first, down Vegas in Western Conference opener Winnipeg Jets vs. Vegas Golden Knights - 5/14/18 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Betsy Taylor | 12 May, 2018, 20:42

Goalie Probables: Getting the nod for the Golden Knights will be Marc-Andre Fleury (8-2, 1.53 GAA) and he will be opposed by Connor Hellebuyck (8-4, 2.25 GAA).

The second round of the playoffs has come and gone, and what a round it was. That it took the Isles only three seasons to reach the playoffs, when they sent shivers through defending Cup champ Philadelphia by coming back from a 3-0 series deficit to force a seventh game in the semis, was in of itself a tremendous achievement.

There's no doubt that all four teams deserve to be here.

"The way you build your hockey teams, those kids get a chance to play all season long".

We don't think so.

That means National Hockey League teams will only be able to protect seven forwards, three defenceman, and one goaltender or one goaltender and eight skaters regardless of position.

"They've had a [heck of a] season", Wheeler said. Vegas matched up with the Kings in the first round and was a popular pick for an upset, then they swept them with little issue. They just completed a gruelling seven game series with the Nashville Predators and now, on one day's rest, will start the conference final. They play the same way regardless of whether they're ahead or behind.

Braden Holtby was spectacular in defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins.

WestJet announced it would be adding literal jets to its schedule to fly fans of the Winnipeg Jets to Las Vegas during Round 3 of the playoffs.


"We're going to offer you the best, toughest hockey market that you're ever going to see", Matt Schaubroeck with Tourism Winnipeg said. Even Tampa AGM Julien Brisebois was quoted as saying that Tampa couldn't have gotten over the hump without their two newly acquired stars. Their scoring depth, combined with an experienced, mobile defense led by Victor Hedman and Vezina candidate Andrei Vasilseky, makes Tampa the heavy favorite over an injury-depleted Washington team. Winnipeg and Vegas each enter this series having generated more than 60 even-strength shot attempts for per 60 minutes played in the playoffs, which suggests we could be in for some high-event hockey.

Scheifele scored his league-leading 11th goal of the post-season into an empty net and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 21 of his 37 stops in the third period for the Jets who reached the Conference finals for the first time since the franchise moved from Atlanta after the 2010-11 NHL season. In fact, 11 of the 13 writers for NHL.com are picking a Winnipeg/Tampa Bay final. Felt good, no injuries, totally healthy.

"A Canadian looking at a team down here, they know, if they know hockey and they know their players they know this is a very legitimate team", Wall said.

In a series which saw each game deliver a different storyline, no team could take advantage of home-ice, with the road teams winning five of the seven games overall in the series, including Thursday night's contest in Nashville.

"We're real comfortable in this building".

With the huge success of the Vegas Golden Knights, some casino executives are eyeing the next big bet for professional sports.

Much of the same can be said for Vegas, which looked nothing like the team that opened its second-round series with a 7-0 shellacking of. They're a threat on the powerplay, on the rush, and from the blue-line, and on the cycle down low. "Just watching them in the playoffs, it's not a fluke". Will they be able to keep up to the high-octane Jets?

Depression - Vegas pops up in their first year in the league and they're already better than my favorite team. By our estimation, Vegas' storybook run will come to an end at the hands of the Jets.

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