The Vegas Golden Knights, in their first-ever season, have made it to the conference finals. Just like we all predicted, the Winnipeg Jets and Vegas Golden Knights will meet for the western crown, while Tampa Bay and Washington do battle for the east. Of course, that also applies to the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
"Canada is an unbelievable hockey market and especially our fans in Winnipeg", said the Kitchener, Ont., native, who has 16 points in 12 games. Eliminated Minnesota in five, Nashville in seven.
Winnipeg is averaging 3.4 goals per game in its past five games (the team's a ideal 0-0 SU during that span).
OFFENCE: Centre Mark Scheifele scored seven times in Nashville, establishing an National Hockey League record for road goals in a series. The Over-Under, or total number of goals oddsmakers think will be scored in this 2018 NHL Playoff game, is 6. He had nine points with four power-play goals against the Jets.
"Usually he plays better the more that's on the line".
This will be the first Game 7 for the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers, who moved to Winnipeg in 2011. They've been allowing just over three scoring chances off the rush every 60 minutes in the playoffs, less than half of the playoff average, however that particular skill may not be of as much use against the Jets, who aren't shy about attacking off the rush, but generate a large majority of their scoring chances off the forecheck and off the cycle. The Kings and Sharks tried crashing the net and got nowhere.
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And both teams are riding the stellar play of their hot goaltenders. Their combination of shooting (7.69) and save percentages (96.51) is a playoff-best 104.2. Linemates Jonathan Marchessault (75 points) and Reilly Smith (60 points) complete one of the best lines in the National Hockey League.
Vegas also boasts two potent lines but is capable of rolling four unsafe lines to balance the scoring across 12 forwards. Trade deadline pickup Tomas Tatar has no points in four games and has been a healthy scratch ...
Leading the offensive counter for the visiting Golden Knights will be William Karlsson (47 goals, 41 assists) and Jonathan Marchessault (31 goals, 55 assists). That winning percentage, ranked third in the National Hockey League in this young season, is a welcome improvement over the 40-42 record from the 2016-17 season campaign.
DEFENCE: The blue line has contributed seven goals and eight assists in 10 games ...
"We're a good team, we play hard and we played well all season long", he said. McNabb's average of 4.9 hits is tops among surviving teams. The Golden Knights are eight wins away, led by a resurgent Marc-Andre Fleury and a band of proud misfits (OK, they're mostly former Florida Panthers). Games 1 and 2 will be played Saturday and Monday at the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg. It's only fair and right that it comes down to game 7 in "Smashville", so let's hope the Jets rebound from their dismal performance in game 6 and keep the "Whiteout" crowd alive.
Game 3: Wednesday @ Knights, 9 p.m.