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JNGD.R1G5 Flight Plan: The First (and hopefully only) Series Clinching Game

The Winnipeg Jets are on the verge of their first playoff series win in franchise history. After seeing a literal whiteout on their way to Minnesota last week, the Jets will be gearing up for a whiteout of their own at Bell MTS Place.

Unfortunately, they will have to play without the aid of Josh Morrissey who is serving a one game suspension for a high hit against Eric Staal. The depth will be tested and the fans will be loud in a crucial game five.

Minnesota Wild
@
Winnipeg Jets

Round One – Game Five
Jets lead series 3-1

April 20, 2018 – Puck drop: 6:30 PM CST
Bell MTS Place – Winnipeg, MB
TV: Sportsnet – Radio: TSN 1290

 

What did the Jets do right in game four?

The Winnipeg Jets did a lot of things right in game four. They played a more disciplined game by taking only two penalties and they played quite well defensively in front of Connor Hellebuyck. Hellebuyck was the best player in the game and he showcased his skill with a highlight reel save on Matt Dumba. While the game was very low scoring, the Jets did get quite a few chances. They had multiple 2 on 1’s and a couple partial breakaways although they couldn’t convert on these chances, the team was skating and moving better. The speed and tenacity of their forecheck helped at the end of the game by keeping the puck in the offensive zone while winding down the clock.

What did the Wild do wrong in game four?

The Minnesota Wild played a fairly strong game Tuesday night. They had 30 shots on goal and a few dangerous chances. They played well defensively as they only allowed one shot to sneak past Dubnyk (the other goal being scored on an empty net). The only game that the Wild won was largely due to their special teams. The Wild went 2 for 3 in their game three win while going 0 for 2 in game number four. The Wild also made the game simple for Hellebuyck as there were no screens or tips in front of the net. Hellebuyck was able to see the puck and easily stop it all night.

How do the Wild win game five?

The Wild can win game five by attacking hard and pushing for a few goals early. The Jets have a lot of question marks surrounding their defensive lineup so the Wild need to pounce quickly. The Wild have been playing well defensively throughout this series but they cannot seem to score. They will need to get in front of Hellebuyck and make sure he can’t see the puck. Without Morrissey and potentially Myers as well, the Wild need to step up their speed through the neutral zone and try to force some turnovers from the rookie skaters.

How do the Jets win game five?

The Jets can win game five by turning this game into a track meet. The defence could be an issue for Winnipeg so they will need to outscore the Wild even if it takes four or five goals. The Wild are without their top scorer in Parise and the Jets have a very clear offensive advantage. With Byfuglien and Trouba looking to log very heavy minutes, it will be important to not have to defend for so long like in game number four. The Jets will need to build up a two or three goal advantage to allow the third pairing to play more shifts and give the top end players a rest. The X-factor in game  five will be Connor Hellebuyck. If he plays as well as he did during game number four, the Wild will be going home after a long line of handshakes.

What others are saying…

In an excellent article about the impact of having an NHL team back in Manitoba’s capital, Kevin King of the Winnipeg Sun says this:

“There’s no doubt the return of the Jets to Winnipeg in 2011 is the most positive thing to happen to this city in a very long time. No other change, improvement or development has had the impact on the psyche of this town like this franchise has, at least not in several decades.

The effect of this team, this sporting package stamped with our identity, is unrivaled by anything that has happened in Winnipeg in at least a couple of generations. Nothing has brought people together from all walks of life, ages, income groups and neighborhoods in such a sustained and celebratory way. It’s truly been a remarkable development.”

Player ratings courtesy Corsica.Hockey

Winnipeg Jets Lines

LW C RW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR

Rating: 76.6#23 LW

Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE

Rating: 79.7#17 C

Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER

Rating: 81.5#4 RW

Nikolaj Ehlers
NIKOLAJ EHLERS

Rating: 76.9#21 LW

Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY

Rating: 75.7#38 C

Patrik Laine
PATRIK LAINE

Rating: 84.3#2 RW

Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP

Rating: 72.8#58 LW

Bryan Little
BRYAN LITTLE

Rating: 73.8#63 C

Jack Roslovic
JACK ROSLOVIC

Rating: 74.5#37 RW

Brandon Tanev
BRANDON TANEV

Rating: 70.4#105 LW

Adam Lowry
ADAM LOWRY

Rating: 73.7#65 C

Joel Armia
JOEL ARMIA

Rating: 71.6#79 RW

 

GOALIES
Connor Hellebuyck
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK

Rating: 74.3#22 G1

Steve Mason
STEVE MASON

Rating: 71.8#36 G2

Minnesota Wild Lines

LW C RW
Jason Zucker
JASON ZUCKER

Rating: 78.0#14 LW

Eric Staal
ERIC STAAL

Rating: 79.7#18 C

Mikael Granlund
MIKAEL GRANLUND

Rating: 77.8#13 RW

Nino Niederreiter
NINO NIEDERREITER

Rating: 74.7#35 LW

Mikko Koivu
MIKKO KOIVU

Rating: 73.8#64 C

Charlie Coyle
CHARLIE COYLE

Rating: 71.7#110 RW

Jordan Greenway
JORDAN GREENWAY

Rating: 72.5#65 LW

Matt Cullen
MATT CULLEN

Rating: 71.5#115 C

Tyler Ennis
TYLER ENNIS

Rating: 70.0#110 RW

Marcus Foligno
MARCUS FOLIGNO

Rating: 70.3#109 LW

Joel Eriksson Ek
JOEL ERIKSSON EK

Rating: 69.9#149 C

Daniel Winnik
DANIEL WINNIK

Rating: 70.1#107 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Jonas Brodin
JONAS BRODIN

Rating: 73.3#40 LD

Mathew Dumba
MATHEW DUMBA

Rating: 76.8#18 RD

Nick Seeler
NICK SEELER

Rating: 72.2#65 LD

Jared Spurgeon
JARED SPURGEON

Rating: 76.0#21 RD

Carson Soucy
CARSON SOUCY

Rating: 71.9#75 LD

Nate Prosser
NATE PROSSER

Rating: 69.4#103 RD

GOALIES
Devan Dubnyk
DEVAN DUBNYK

Rating: 72.9#29 G1

Alex Stalock
ALEX STALOCK

Rating: 65.1#68 G2

Gameday Prediction

With the game back in Winnipeg and the possibility of winning their franchise’s first playoff series, the Jets won’t disappoint. Jets win 5-2