How They Got Here: Everything the Golden Knights of Vegas have achieved this season seems to be inexplicable, so leave Retaining our reservations
Only one NHL team can raise the Stanley Cup in June. The rest will work hard this summer to be there at the end of next season.
The caps have the Mojo after a glorious victory over their nemesis. But here's why we like Tampa to represent the East in the Stanley Cup final.
It would undoubtedly be painful to be short of a championship, but could actually be the best case for the Expansion Club.
The first round of Las Vegas against the Los Angeles Kings was a close, defensive series – the teams combined only 10 goals in four games – but the Golden Knights won every game by taking their depth and timely penalty used. .. oh, and Marc-Andre Fleury's spectacular game. It was more of a grind to another of the Pacific Division's second-round opponents, but Fleury kept pace to keep the knights afloat in a six-game series win over the San Jose Sharks.
The Winnipeg Jets, however, handled their first-round opponents, the Minnesota Wild, relatively easily. Then came the tough second round against the Nashville Predators of the President's Trophy.
"They are tough from top to bottom and made our lives miserable," said Jets captain Blake Wheeler after game 7. During a rocker series in which none of the teams won consecutive games (or capitalized on two of the best barns in the world) League for the home advantage). The Jets were best in the one competition that counted: Game 7.
So the Jets and Golden Knights match the Western Conference Finals:
Goalkeeper: Fleury's numbers of this postseason are just obscene , Of his eight wins, four were eliminated. He has a .951 save percentage and 1.53 goals – against average. He is also rested, only 46 games in the regular season and only 10 in the first two rounds.
But Connor Hellebuyck, a Vezina Trophy finalist, is certainly not shoddy, with a .927 save percentage and a 2.25 GAA in the playoffs. The 24-year-old has had a few nights off, but seems to be very solid after that, and the ability to rebound is not to be underestimated. Advantage: Golden Knights
First Line: Vegas Top Line has been terrific throughout the season, but has not increased the playoff production of other first units. Jonathan Marchessault leads the Golden Knights with 11 points (four goals, seven assists), which places 11th among the skaters of these playoffs. Let us remember that the knights played only 10 games.
The first line of jets is more productive and probably more talented. No. 1 middle Mark Scheifele burns. He now leads the NHL postseason with 11 goals, including seven – all on the road – against Nashville, who set a Stanley Cup playoffs record. Advantage: Jets
Depth: The Golden Knights routinely perform three defensive pairings and four lines regardless of matchups. "We really had no choice," said General Manager George McPhee ESPN in March. "We do not have the elite players who have other teams, we thought that if our third and fourth rows were better than the third and fourth rows of the other clubs, it could be a way to make up for it." He has a point, but it still feels like the jets have more talent down the line.
Yes, Patrik Laine and Nikolay Ehlers, the second division side, have not had their best series against Nashville, but their center, Paul Stastny (10 points in the series) and Fourth-liners like Brandon Tanev, have greatly improved. Advantage: Jets
Defense: Vegas does not have a defender profiling as a real shut-down no. 1, but they have six men who are capable – and no one is overwhelmed. (The Ice Age is fairly evenly divided.) The Knights make a large number of shots, 33.3 per game; It is an area where the jets have shone (only 28.6 per game, second best point of the 16 postseason teams).
Dustin Byfuglien, who drives the Predators and proactively joins Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey, who come to their side feels like a lightweight pick. Advantage: Jets
Greg Wyshynski and Emily Kaplan discuss about the capitals that are finally forcing the Penguins and the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup. In addition, ESPN's Victoria Matiash comes over to look at the postseason, and we hear from Patriots footballer Stephen Gostkowski about his Bruins fandom. Plus, all your favorite segments of the week! Listen »
Special Teams: The power play of the Golden Knights was pretty pedestrian friendly with 17.5 percent in these playoffs. The penalty, however, has been exceptional – 84 percent of the opposing power games were ousted. This is the second place among the playoff teams for the Kings (who only have a sample of four games).
The jets did so well in both categories: 75 percent penalty shoot-out, 22.6 percent power play. Advantage: Self
Health: Vegas cares about the health of William Carrier, who plays no major role in offensive numbers, but definitely adds a physical presence in the lineup , Also on the return of defender Luca Sbisa they were welcomed in the last round.
The jets greeted Mathieu Perreault in the final round . You are remarkably healthy now. Advantage: Jets
Coaching: Last turn, Gerard Gallant had to make slight adjustments, such as Oscar Lindberg for Tomas Tatar – a striker for whom his GM gave up a lot at the close – and also include Ryan Carpenter and shuffle David Perron and Alex Tuch. Everything seemed to pay off.
You can not really criticize Paul Maurice because he did not have to make that many decisions. Advantage: Golden Knight
The selection: Jets in six