Photo Courtesy of Arctic Ice Hockey
The Jets draw first blood in what should be a long hard fought series.
By Chris Yackel
Game 1 analysis
The Winnipeg Jets did what very few visiting teams do in Nashville and that’s win a hockey game. It sure wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but behind world class goaltending by Connor Hellebuyck and two goals from star center Mark Scheifele the Jets were able to take 1-0 lead in the series.
Nashville threw everything they had at Winnipeg with 48 shots on goal, but they just weren’t able to get more than one past Hellebuyck. Winnipeg at the end of the day was able to capitalize on the chances they had when they weren’t defending in their own zone. The scoreboard in this one did not accurately indicate the way this game was. Nashville looked poised all game, some could say they played better than Winnipeg, but their goaltending was an issue in this one.
Pekka Rinne looked shaky to say the least. Rinne was pulled after the second period after allowing 3 goals on 16 shots. Rinne has yet to look like the Vezina Trophy finalist goaltender that was incredible in the regular season these playoffs. It is very concerning if you’re Nashville due to the history of his poor play in the playoffs last year, especially in the Final against Pittsburgh.
Connor Hellebuyck one of the other finalists for the Vezina Trophy was exceptional in net. After last night Hellebuyck improved his record to 5-1 with an incredible .940 save percentage and 1.77 goals against average. The edge in net certainly has to be Winnipeg in this series.
Outlook for rest of series
This series has the makings of a seven game battle. These are the two best teams in the Western Conference from the regular season as they both have talented rosters. Winnipeg may have the edge in net, however Nashville has phenomenal defense and great depth up front. Winnipeg also has a great back end, but not quite as talented as Nashville. The Jets depth offensively is also tremendous maybe even more so than Nashville. Ultimately, I believe Nashville will prevail, but it will take seven and it will be battle.
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