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JNGD.R2G6 Flight Plan: Is Tonight The Night?

The Winnipeg Jets will get two cracks at punching their ticket to the Western Conference Final and a date with the Vegas Golden Knights, the first of which happens tonight at home in front of a crowd that no one can imagine will get any louder or crazier than it has been in these playoffs, but a crowd everyone believe may just be that.

Nashville Predators
@
Winnipeg Jets

Round Two – Game Six
Jets lead series 3-2

May 7th, 2018 – Puck drop: 8:30 PM CST
Bell MTS Place – Winnipeg, MB
TV: CBC – Radio: TSN 1290

The Rundown…

What did the Jets do right in game five?

Their hands, feet and brains caught up to the speed of the game. Seriously, for the first 20 minutes the Jets looked to be in trouble and were surviving wave after wave of Predators attack much like they did in period one of game one. It wasn’t even so much what Nashville was doing right, but that Winnipeg couldn’t seem to string more than two passes together in a row or get out of the way of each other when trying to get out of their zone or gain the Preds offensive end. In the second they got a somewhat fortunate bounce off of Paul Stastny and looked like a much more confident group from that point on. It also didn’t hurt that the Predators went into a bit of a panic mode which leads me to…

What did the Predators do wrong in game five?

They panicked and again lost focus for a stretch. They had the game well in hand after 20 minutes and that Stastny goal must have given them a sense of “here we go again” because they got away from the trap-like defensive hockey that proved successful in game five and instead allowed the game to go into a back and forth run-n-gun show that they simply can’t compete with. Pekka Rinne got scrambly in his own goal again, the defense in front of him looked lost, the offense in front of them offered no real help with back checking.

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How do the Predators win game six?

Once again it’s getting back to defensive basics which involves two steps: One, get the early lead. If they fall behind the Jets by a goal it’s going to be a huge mountain to climb and if they fall behind two, it’s likely game over. Two, once they have a lead, be calm and go back to that 1-3-1 trap-like zone and don’t let the Jets get anything up the middle of the ice or rush into the zone with any speed. It might not also hurt to hope that Connor Hellebuyck has an off-night as well and getting bodies in front him again will help matters on offense.

How do the Jets win game six?

At this point, one would like to see them come out with a better effort to start the game, but maybe that’s messing with a winning formula? Getting that first goal will be big, but even if they don’t they’ve proven they have enough confidence in their offense to get back into games. The only thing that may stop them at this point is if they have issues completing passes or get too cute with scoring chances. There is a chance based on the morning skate that Matt Hendricks draws in for Bryan Little who may be sidelined with injury, but early in the season the line of Hendricks, Perreault and Armia was a pretty strong one for the Jets, so it might not be quite the cause for concern one would expect.

What Others Are Saying…

Preds captain Roman Josi says they aren’t panicking even though it kinda sorta looks like they might be…

“We’re giving them way too much, too many great chances,” said Nashville captain Roman Josi, the leader of a defense corps that has not played nearly as well as needed overall through five games. “Tonight you saw it again, the goals, they’re all like backdoor, empty net, rebounds in front of the net. I mean, they’re a dangerous team, they’re going to get their chances, but we’ve got to make sure we stay calm. … There’s no panic. We know what we have to do. There’s no panic in the room.”

Meanwhile, ol Pernell-Karl hasn’t come out and said the word “guarantee” or “promise” but he also didn’t leave any doubt what he felt the outcome of game six would be

“We’re going to wake up in the morning, and that page is going to be turned. We’re gonna go to Winnipeg. We’re gonna win a game,” Subban said after the 6-2 loss. “We’re going to come back here. It’s that simple.”

Player ratings courtesy Corsica.Hockey

Winnipeg Jets Lines

LW C RW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR

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RATING: 75.8#27 LW

Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE

RATING: 82.5#6 C

Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER

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RATING: 82.1#4 RW

Nikolaj Ehlers
NIKOLAJ EHLERS

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RATING: 75.6#29 LW

Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY

RATING: 76.4#36 C

Patrik Laine
PATRIK LAINE

RATING: 83.0#3 RW

Mathieu Perreault
MATHIEU PERREAULT

RATING: 74.8#48 IR2

Adam Lowry
ADAM LOWRY

RATING: 72.8#76 C

Bryan Little
BRYAN LITTLE

RATING: 73.1#55 RW

Brandon Tanev
BRANDON TANEV

RATING: 70.9#96 LW

Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP

RATING: 72.0#109 C

Joel Armia
JOEL ARMIA

RATING: 72.1#74 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Josh Morrissey
JOSH MORRISSEY

RATING: 74.2#30 LD

Jacob Trouba
JACOB TROUBA

RATING: 78.3#14 RD

Tobias Enstrom
TOBIAS ENSTROM

RATING: 71.3#97 LD

Dustin Byfuglien
DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN

RATING: 81.0#5 RD

Ben Chiarot
BEN CHIAROT

RATING: 71.5#91 LD

Tyler Myers
TYLER MYERS

RATING: 75.6#24 RD

GOALIES
Connor Hellebuyck
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK

RATING: 74.3#22 G1

Steve Mason
STEVE MASON

RATING: 71.8#36 G2

Nashville Predators Lines

LW C RW
Filip Forsberg
FILIP FORSBERG

RATING: 82.2#5 LW

Ryan Johansen
RYAN JOHANSEN

RATING: 75.9#39 C

Viktor Arvidsson
VIKTOR ARVIDSSON

RATING: 77.5#14 RW

Scott Hartnell
SCOTT HARTNELL

RATING: 70.2#116 LW

Kyle Turris
KYLE TURRIS

RATING: 74.6#50 C

Craig Smith
CRAIG SMITH

RATING: 75.5#29 RW

Colton Sissons
COLTON SISSONS

RATING: 72.2#100 LW

Nick Bonino
NICK BONINO

RATING: 72.8#73 C

Austin Watson
AUSTIN WATSON

RATING: 72.1#73 RW

Miikka Salomaki
MIIKKA SALOMAKI

RATING: 68.6#149 LW

Mike Fisher
MIKE FISHER

RATING: 71.3#133 C

Ryan Hartman
RYAN HARTMAN

RATING: 72.4#69 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Roman Josi
ROMAN JOSI

RATING: 80.8#2 LD

Ryan Ellis
RYAN ELLIS

RATING: 80.8#7 RD

Mattias Ekholm
MATTIAS EKHOLM

RATING: 78.0#6 LD

P.K. Subban
P.K. SUBBAN

RATING: 81.3#3 RD

Matt Irwin
MATT IRWIN

RATING: 69.4#131 LD

Yannick Weber
YANNICK WEBER

RATING: 68.9#112 RD

GOALIES
Pekka Rinne
PEKKA RINNE

RATING: 78.2#6 G1

Juuse Saros
JUUSE SAROS

RATING: 72.2#33 G2

Gameday Prediction

They say the fourth win in a series is always the hardest to get, but the Predators are going to have to work pretty damn hard themselves to force a seventh and deciding game back in Nashville. The Jets have already shown in the first round that they don’t let chances like this slip by and should nail things down tonight. Jets win 6-4.