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JNGD.R1G3 Flight Plan: The Whiteout (Figuratively AND Literally) Comes To Minnesota

It took a little longer than expected to get into Saint Paul thanks to actual whiteout conditions and the worst April snow storm the state of Minnesota has seen in decades, but as of 8:00 AM CST Sunday morning the Winnipeg Jets made it into town and will be ready for game three.

Winnipeg Jets
@
Minnesota Wild

Round One – Game Three
Jets lead series 2-0
April 15, 2018 – Puck drop: 6:00 PM CST

Xcel Energy Center – Saint Paul, MN.
TV: Sportsnet – Radio: TSN 1290

What did the Jets do right in game two?

Everything. They did pretty much everything right. They took what worked for them in game one – using their speed to create turnovers, hitting to separate opponent from puck and patience – and ramped it up in game two. The biggest key right now to this series is the Jets third and fourth lines which are absolutely outplaying their counterparts on the Wild which has absolutely wore out Minnesota as evidenced by a third period where the Jets added three more goals to their one goal lead and limited the Wild to just three shots – the first of which didn’t come until halfway into the final frame.

The only thing that hasn’t gone right for this series are the injuries to Tobias Enstrom and Mathieu Perreault as they remain game time decisions.

What did the Wild do wrong in game two?

At this point, it may not even be about what they’ve done wrong as the Jets are forcing them into making mistakes and mental errors. The biggest challenge right now for the Wild is to take advantage of and score on whatever few chances the Jets give up which is something they didn’t do again early on in the first period when the Wild for a brief moment actually had a slight advantage in shots and scoring chances – the Wild actually had the first six shots of the game, but couldn’t beat Hellebuyck.

How do the Wild win game three?

Scoring first will be huge tonight. It will get the crowd truly going and give the team a boost of confidence. On the defensive end of things, they really need to limit the Jets attack in the “home plate area” (the area in front of the Wild net that covers the slot and extends out to the two faceoff dots on each side) They also need to keep leaning on Dubnyk and hope he can continue to hold off the Jets offensive attack long enough to get a lead and maybe even build on it.

How do the Jets win game three?

The third verse should be exactly the same as the first two, keep using speed and hard physical play to wear down the Wild. Even if Minnesota does score first, the Jets have proven in this series that a one goal lead is not a critical issue. Keep winning battles for 50/50 pucks and pepper Dubnyk with rubber until he breaks.

What others are saying

Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune understands that the scraps and fighting that closed out game two wasn’t really a case of the Wild “sending a message”:

Pushed around and severely outplayed in a miserable Game 2 performance, Wild players resorted to throwing haymakers at the Winnipeg Jets in the final 10 seconds, which, predictably, caused hockey traditionalists to characterize their pugilism as “sending a message.”

Baloney.

Punching an opponent in the head after being so thoroughly dominated doesn’t send a message. That’s called blowing off steam.

Player ratings courtesy Corsica.Hockey

Winnipeg Jets Lines

LW C RW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR

Rating: 77.7#17 LW

Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE

Rating: 80.4#13 C

Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER

Rating: 82.3#4 RW

Nikolaj Ehlers
NIKOLAJ EHLERS

Rating: 76.5#24 LW

Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY

Rating: 75.0#47 C

Patrik Laine
PATRIK LAINE

Rating: 83.1#3 RW

Mathieu Perreault
MATHIEU PERREAULT

Rating: 74.8#34 LW

Bryan Little
BRYAN LITTLE

Rating: 73.5#67 C

Joel Armia
JOEL ARMIA

Rating: 71.3#84 RW

Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP

Rating: 73.0#56 LW

Adam Lowry
ADAM LOWRY

Rating: 74.2#57 C

Brandon Tanev
BRANDON TANEV

Rating: 70.6#99 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Josh Morrissey
JOSH MORRISSEY

Rating: 74.1#29 LD

Jacob Trouba
JACOB TROUBA

Rating: 78.1#13 RD

Joe Morrow
JOE MORROW

Rating: 72.2#64 LD

Dustin Byfuglien
DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN

Rating: 80.5#8 RD

Ben Chiarot
BEN CHIAROT

Rating: 70.9#105 LD

Tyler Myers
TYLER MYERS

Rating: 74.9#28 RD

GOALIES
Connor Hellebuyck
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK

Rating: 75.1#14 G1

Steve Mason
STEVE MASON

Rating: 71.7#34 G2

Minnesota Wild Lines

LW C RW
Jason Zucker
JASON ZUCKER

Rating: 78.6#11 LW

Eric Staal
ERIC STAAL

Rating: 79.2#18 C

Mikael Granlund
MIKAEL GRANLUND

Rating: 77.4#15 RW

Zach Parise
ZACH PARISE

Rating: 75.7#28 LW

Mikko Koivu
MIKKO KOIVU

Rating: 73.7#63 C

Nino Niederreiter
NINO NIEDERREITER

Rating: 75.4#29 RW

Jordan Greenway
JORDAN GREENWAY

Rating: 72.2#69 LW

Matt Cullen
MATT CULLEN

Rating: 71.5#115 C

Charlie Coyle
CHARLIE COYLE

Rating: 72.1#71 RW

Marcus Foligno
MARCUS FOLIGNO

Rating: 70.4#107 LW

Joel Eriksson Ek
JOEL ERIKSSON EK

Rating: 70.6#133 C

Daniel Winnik
DANIEL WINNIK

Rating: 70.4#101 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Jonas Brodin
JONAS BRODIN

Rating: 73.6#39 LD

Mathew Dumba
MATHEW DUMBA

Rating: 76.9#16 RD

Carson Soucy
CARSON SOUCY

Rating: 71.8#81 LD

Jared Spurgeon
JARED SPURGEON

Rating: 76.8#17 RD

Nick Seeler
NICK SEELER

Rating: 72.0#72 LD

Nate Prosser
NATE PROSSER

Rating: 69.7#102 RD

GOALIES
Devan Dubnyk
DEVAN DUBNYK

Rating: 73.5#27 G1

Alex Stalock
ALEX STALOCK

Rating: 65.1#67 G2

Gameday Prediction

There is no reason to believe that a change of location truly bothers the Jets or gives the Wild any kind of needed boost. The ability to match lines a little better should help Bruce Boudreau some, but it won’t be near enough if the bottom six forwards for Winnipeg keep playing like they are. Jets win 3-2.