Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets Free Prediction 5/12/18

Inaugural Knights exceed can-do owner's high expectations What's a 'Winnipeg?' Time to brush up on the Golden Knights' Canadian competition
Domingo Copeland | 12 May, 2018, 20:44

A year ago at this time, the Winnipeg Jets weren't even in the playoffs and the Vegas Golden Knights didn't even have players.

An average audience of three million tuned in to see the Jets beat the Predators 5-1 and advance to the NHL Western Conference final for the first time. Vegas ended up with 109 points in what's been called a fairytale campaign for an expansion team. Also defending for the Predators is Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland. Vegas has the edge in team speed and perhaps in net (although Conor Hellebuyck did have 44 wins in the regular season and has been tremendous so far), but the Jets are the biggest team in the league and have truly top-end skill everywhere in their line-up. Marc-Andre Fleury and backup goalie Malcom Subban were out for extended periods of time, and they kept winning.

Myers initiated the scoring at 8:41 of the first period with a wrister from the far right goal line that somehow squeezed between the post and goalie Pekka Rinne, his third of the playoffs.

Averaging 28.3 saves per game with a.924 save percentage, Connor Hellebuyck (52-27-10) has been the primary option in goal for the Jets this year.

"Laying it all on the line, each and every night, that's what it's all about", said the Kitchener, Ont., native, who has 16 points in 12 games. "We're going to get our rest, we're going to enjoy tonight and get back to it. Rest is a weapon, but I think the way we battle in this room, I think we're prepared for anything".

Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers have combined for three goals and nine assists in the series, but have all faded in and out of the action at various points.

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However, steady Winnipeg pressure paid off at 17:50 of the second when Blake Wheeler teed up Scheifele in the left circle. A franchise that had never, ever won a single game in the second round of the playoffs has a dazzling array of offensive weapons, led by Conn Smythe frontrunner Mark Scheifele, who nearly singlehandedly buried the Nashville Predators in the second round.

Winnipeg was already in the grip of playoff fever. Vegas has a size and physical advantage on its third and fourth lines, but the Jets have much more offensive talent. In the playoffs, the 25-year-old has continued his outstanding play through 10 games, recording four goals and six assists. Florida gave away Reilly Smith in a salary move so Vegas would agree to take Jonathan Marchessault. It will be 30 years next year since the Caps advanced to the Canadian junior A hockey championship, and maybe that anniversary will be good luck for Cameron with his second Capitals' team.

The Golden Knights, who surpassed its season-high 13 penalties in minutes with 22 PIM, found themselves in the box more than, 11-6. Winnipeg is also 4-1 at home in its last five home games against Nashville. Hellebuyck won his first three starts and never relinquished his hold on the job. First they had to wait for Wayne Gretzky's greatness to run its course, so often was he the foil to the ambitions of Jets 1.0. For the Rangers, this team should be the ultimate proof to them that they have no reason to not make the playoffs. Winnipeg is 6-1 in its last seven Saturday games.

The Golden Knights will be on a plane to either Nashville or Winnipeg on Friday morning, and from the sounds of it, they appear to nearly be looking forward to the road start.

Winnipeg is 4-2 on the road in the playoffs after splitting a pair in Minnesota in its opening-round series against the Wild.

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