The Nashville Predators moved onto the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after defeating the Colorado Avalanche in six games. They will now face off against the Winnipeg Jets.
The Nashville Predators advanced to the second round for the third straight year, as they beat the Colorado Avalanche in Game 6 on Sunday night. They will face off against familiar Central Division foe in the Winnipeg Jets. The Winnipeg Jets took care of the Minnesota Wild in five games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Predators-Jets series will be an interesting one, as both teams have been some of the best teams in hockey all year long. It will no doubt be one of the best series throughout the playoffs and could be a series that sees seven games to determine a winner. Nashville won the season series with Winnipeg, 3-1-1. Just about every game of the season series was a high scoring affair.
Nashville began the season series off with a 5-3 win in which the Predators got goals from five different players. The next game was a high scoring affair, as the teams traded goals throughout the game, but the Jets came out on top with two late goals to make it 6-4.
The next game was a classic between the two teams. Like the game before, it was a high scoring game with the teams trading goal after goal. The Jets jumped out to a 5-3 lead halfway through the 3rd period, before the Predators stormed back, scoring three goals in the final 10 minutes, including a game-winner from Ryan Hartman in his first game as a Predator.
The Predators won the next game between the two teams as well in a game where the Predators scored three goals in the 1st period, including two shorthanded goals on the same penalty kill. The final game between the two was yet another high scoring affair. The Predators jumped out to a 3-1 lead before the Jets stormed back to tie the game. The game ended up going into a shootout where the Jets won 5-4.
Get ready for an interesting series. This series will likely feature a number of high scoring affairs between the two teams. They haven’t officially released when the games will take place, but once we find out, we will share it across our Twitter and Facebook page.
What To Watch For
An interesting battle between these two teams will be the goalies. Both Pekka Rinne of the Predators and Connor Hellebuyck of the Jets are Vezina Trophy finalists and have been outstanding in goal for their respective teams all year long.
Rinne finished the year staring in 59 games, boasting a record of 42-13-4. Hellebuyck started in 64 games, putting up a record of 44-11-9. They both make a strong case for the Vezina Trophy and it’ll be interesting to see who wins it at the end of the year.
While they both have played great throughout the year, each of them have allowed a good number of goals during this season series. Both goalies will have to look better in goal for their teams in this second round matchup if they want to win.
The Predators 3rd Line
The Predators 3rd line shocked many people during the Predators first round matchup against the Avalanche. The 3rd line featured Colton Sissons – Nick Bonino – Austin Watson. Each player stepped up big for the Predators as that trio scored a goal in every single game during the series.
Watson stepped up huge for the Predators throughout the series, as he had a point in each game of the series. He posted four goals throughout the series, including a goal in Games 1, 2, 3, and 6, and an assist each in Games 1, 4, 5. He also played really well on the defensive end.
Colton Sisson, otherwise known as “Playoff Sissons”, showed out for the Predators yet again in their first round victory. Sissons ended up with seven points throughout the series, including three goals and four assists. Sissons scored goals in Games 1, 3, and 4 for the Predators, and also finished with two assists during the Predators series clinching win on Sunday.
Bonino was silent during the first part of the series, but showed out near the end. He had an assist in Game 2, but then bursted onto the scene as he scored the only Predators goal in Game 5. Bonino then scored another goal and assisted on two Predator goals during Game 6. He also won 65.2% of his faceoffs during the series.
They looked great throughout the series and will need to show out again if the Predators want to beat the Jets.
The Jets First Line
The Jets first line is outstanding. That line consists of Kyle Connor – Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler. Their first line combined for a total of 208 points during the regular season, with Wheeler showing out, boasting 91 points with 23 goals.
Scheifele and Wheeler showed out for the Jets during the first round, while Connor was pretty quiet. Wheeler was able to put up one goal and three assists during the Jets series win over the Wild. Scheifele showed out throughout the series, posting four goals and one assist in the series. Connor finished the series with two assists.
Let’s not forget about Patrik Laine on the second line, who put up 70 points and 44 goals during the regular season.
The Jets line pairing are really good, but they depend a good bit on the success of the first and second lines. If the Predators can find a way to shut those lines down, they should have a good chance to win the series.