By The Numbers: A look at the Winnipeg Jets and Anaheim Ducks players

The Winnipeg Jets are facing the Anaheim Ducks in a best of seven series. Two teams go in, but only one will come out the victor and move on to the next round.

As members of two separate divisions, the Jets and Ducks have not faced off against each other very often. They have only gone head-to-head three times this season. Because of these reasons, Jets fans may not be so familiar with the non-star players of the opposition.

Let’s take a look at how the Jets and Ducks players stack up against each other.

This article is just a resource for Jets’ fans. For a preview of the season, check out this article.

Centres

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Statistically Ryan Getzlaf is head and shoulders above the rest of the two teams’ centres; he is also pretty tall too. He’s is one of the league’s most dominant centres in terms of point production per minute and is also one of the very few exceptions where he sustains a scoring chance differential much greater than his Corsi. He is the only centre on either team that could be considered better than Bryan Little.

The Ducks second line centre should be familiar to former Manitoba Moose fans. Ryan Kesler was at one time one of the better shot-metric performers in the NHL, but since then Kesler’s aging curve has fallen significantly. He is still a player who can take tough assignments but only treads water as opposed to dominating these minutes. He also was always reliant on power play with the Sedin twins for point production and his scoring numbers have heavily dropped since.

Rickard Rackell has had a good season in numbers this year. His shot-metric performance sit just under that of Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry, while he is scoring at a slightly higher pace.

Neither Nate Thompson nor Chris Wagner should be the cause of too many concerns for the Jet fans, as neither have performed better than Jim Slater.

Wingers

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Note that the numbers are only for the sample that they’ve played on said team (ex: Stafford does not include games as a Sabre).

Corey Perry is a legitimate elite top-line winger. He scores at high-end rates and will be attached to the hip with Ryan Getzlaf. He also has a tendency to make 29 fanbases hate him. Patrick Maroon is projected to be the other winger on the top line.

Matt Belesky and Kyle Palmieri likely start on Ryan Kesler’s line. Beleskey has been performing well in both scoring and shot-metrics, although Palmieri has not. The Jets have a similar situation on their second line with Blake Wheeler and Drew Stafford, although Stafford has at least been scoring (even if unsustainably so).

On the third line the Ducks will probably carry Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg on Rackell’s wings. Cogliano traditionally has performed similar to Michael Frolik although his numbers are a bit down this season.

The projected fourth line for the Ducks this series was Jiri Sekac and Tim Jackman on either side of Chris Wagner, but news just came out this morning that Emerson Etem will be coming in for Sekac. Etem has a 53.8 percent Corsi and a 1.18 point per sixty.

Defenders

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While the forwards were sorted by scoring chance differential, defenders tend to be better evaluated by Fenwick. Defensemen impact chances against mostly through blocking shots or reducing volume of shots. They also have very little control over creating scoring chances (except with extremes like Erik Karlsson and Dustin Byfuglien’s).

Interestingly, both the Jets and Ducks top pairing defensemen are clustered around each other. Tobias Enstrom, Hampus Lindholm, Francois Beauchemin, and Tyler Myers all have similar Fenwick percentages.

James Wisniewski and Simon Despres are legitimate threats. Their numbers have been good in Anaheim, but they also have a history of strong performance in their previous teams. Thankfully Bruce Boudreau will be sitting Wisniewski in favour of Clayton Stoner.

Sami Vatanen will be paired with Stoner on the third pair while Cam Fowler will be with Despres on the second.

All graphs and numbers provided by War-on-Ice and are 5v5 score-adjusted unless otherwise noted.