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JNGD.R1-G1 Flight Plan: It Begins!

This is it! 82 regular season games later and the best record in Winnipeg Jets history be it franchise or local city with 52 wins, 114 points and second place overall in the entire league has led us to a first round date with the Minnesota Wild.

Minnesota Wild
@
Winnipeg Jets

Round One – Game One – Series 0-0
April 11, 2018 – Puck drop: 6:00 PM CST

Bell MTS Place – Winnipeg, MB.
TV: Sportsnet – Radio: TSN 1290

Recently for the Jets…

The Jets finished the regular season as one of the hottest teams in the league, going 11-1-0 and ending things on a five game win streak. As good as that was though, it wasn’t without a few eyebrow raising worthy blips as the Jets were involved in a couple of high scoring shootouts that ultimately needed shootouts to decide things. Winnipeg’s last regular season game against Chicago was a little more “Jets-like” in terms of seeing the quick strike offence with strong defense up the middle like we’ve been used to seeing all season.

Recently for the Wild…

The Wild come beaten up already on the blue line and having lost three of their last five games – and to be honest, one of the two wins was against Edmonton, so does it even count? The Wild did look a little bit better in their last game against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday in a 6-3 win on the road. Their last 10 games where they’ve gone 4-2-4 may be something Jets fans want to keep in mind tonight. The Wild have been playing decent hockey – even in the face of having lost Ryan Suter – and out of their four overtime losses, three were in the 3 on 3 overtime session while one was in a shootout loss. The Wild have struggled in the 3 on 3 overtime setting this season because they aren’t a particularly fast team that can keep up with all kinds of extra ice available to faster clubs (like the Jets) .. No such 3 on 3 worries here in the playoffs and the Wild will be able to play “their game” in the ‘next goal wins’ overtime.

The Season Series…

As you know doubt know by now, the Jets owned the regular season series with the Wild going 4-1-0 against Minnesota. Two of the Jets wins came in October and were closely battled one goal games. A 7-2 route of the Wild took place in late November in the friendly confines of Bell MTS Place, but the Wild did get a measure of revenge in mid January with a 4-1 win at home. Connor Hellebuyck was the goalie for all four games against the Wild and he posted a .914 save percentage.

Player ratings courtesy Corsica.Hockey

Winnipeg Jets Lines

LW C RW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR

Rating: 77.4#16 LW

Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE

Rating: 80.4#15 C

Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER

Rating: 82.2#4 RW

Nikolaj Ehlers
NIKOLAJ EHLERS

Rating: 76.4#20 LW

Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY

Rating: 74.7#60 C

Patrik Laine
PATRIK LAINE

Rating: 82.4#3 RW

Mathieu Perreault
MATHIEU PERREAULT

Rating: 74.6#62 LW

Bryan Little
BRYAN LITTLE

Rating: 73.3#86 C

Joel Armia
JOEL ARMIA

Rating: 70.9#70 RW

Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP

Rating: 71.8#133 LW

Adam Lowry
ADAM LOWRY

Rating: 74.2#72 C

Brandon Tanev
BRANDON TANEV

Rating: 71.0#84 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Josh Morrissey
JOSH MORRISSEY

Rating: 73.7#33 LD

Jacob Trouba
JACOB TROUBA

Rating: 78.3#14 RD

Joe Morrow
JOE MORROW

Rating: 71.2#103 LD

Dustin Byfuglien
DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN

Rating: 79.9#11 RD

Ben Chiarot
BEN CHIAROT

Rating: 70.6#124 LD

Tyler Myers
TYLER MYERS

Rating: 74.8#30 RD

GOALIES
Connor Hellebuyck
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK

Rating: 74.7#18 G1

Steve Mason
STEVE MASON

Rating: 71.7#37 G2

Minnesota Wild Lines

LW C RW
Jason Zucker
JASON ZUCKER

Rating: 78.2#12 LW

Eric Staal
ERIC STAAL

Rating: 79.9#16 C

Nino Niederreiter
NINO NIEDERREITER

Rating: 75.1#27 RW

Zach Parise
ZACH PARISE

Rating: 76.2#23 LW

Mikko Koivu
MIKKO KOIVU

Rating: 73.8#78 C

Mikael Granlund
MIKAEL GRANLUND

Rating: 77.9#28 RW

Jordan Greenway
JORDAN GREENWAY

Rating: 72.0#69 LW

Matt Cullen
MATT CULLEN

Rating: 70.8#160 C

Charlie Coyle
CHARLIE COYLE

Rating: 71.9#130 RW

Marcus Foligno
MARCUS FOLIGNO

Rating: 70.4#101 LW

Joel Eriksson Ek
JOEL ERIKSSON EK

Rating: 70.6#168 C

Daniel Winnik
DANIEL WINNIK

Rating: 70.6#73 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Jonas Brodin
JONAS BRODIN

Rating: 73.6#38 LD

Mathew Dumba
MATHEW DUMBA

Rating: 77.3#17 RD

Carson Soucy
CARSON SOUCY
Jared Spurgeon
JARED SPURGEON

Rating: 77.7#15 RD

Nick Seeler
NICK SEELER

Rating: 71.9#80 LD

Nate Prosser
NATE PROSSER

Rating: 69.5#92 RD

GOALIES
Devan Dubnyk
DEVAN DUBNYK

Rating: 73.6#26 G1

Alex Stalock
ALEX STALOCK

Rating: 65.1#64 G2

Gameday Prediction

I’ll hate to see what Jets fans will be like if this game ends up being a loss and suddenly the “they haven’t won a playoff game ever” whispers turn into shouts. That said, I don’t think we have anything to worry about tonight. Jets win 4-2 and seize early momentum in the series.