Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Sport | By Victor Mcdonald

Jets' Connor Hellebuyck playing his best going into Knights series

Jets' Connor Hellebuyck playing his best going into Knights series

Called the "Yo-Yo" series because of all the up and downs (with each team taking turns stinking the joint out), it should be the Jets turn, who are carrying our nation on their shoulders, to come up big.

The victor of this series will play in the Stanley Cup finals, facing off against the victor of the Washington-Tampa Bay series. "They're a great mix of responsibility, play hard underneath the puck and they can make some pretty dynamic plays".

That victor will take on the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference final, while the loser of the matchup featuring the NHL's No. 1 and No. 2 teams this season will be left to pick up the pieces. Marc-Andre Fleury has dominated games, putting up four shutouts along with a.951 save percentage. "Obviously, you want to protect your home ice, so we'd like to get off to a good start in the series".

Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers have combined for three goals and nine assists in the series, but have all faded in and out of the action at various points.

"I just tried to be calm", he said.

It is a huge commitment for a P.E.I. team to play in this league with all the time, travel and financial requirements.

The Jets were led in scoring by Paul Stastny, who notched two goals and one assist for three points.

"Canada is an unbelievable hockey market and especially our fans in Winnipeg", said the Kitchener, Ont., native, who has 16 points in 12 games. It will be 30 years next year since the Caps advanced to the Canadian junior A hockey championship, and maybe that anniversary will be good luck for Cameron with his second Capitals' team.

Many NHL GM's, while impressed with Vegas' success, are also furious at it.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 shots - 14 in the final period - for the Lightning, who rebounded from losing the series opener at home to eliminate the Bruins in five games. All the tickets for Saturday were snapped up. They took three on Nashville's home ice.

Wheeler isn't buying that label. "It's not a Cinderella (story)".

The Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin have a good underdog trend that goes hand-in-hand with the belief that something is different in their latest playoff matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The series is expected to highlight speed and not be as physical as Winnipeg's clash with the Predators. If the Jets choose to rest him, however, head coach Paul Maurice may turn to Steve Mason (5-9-9 record, .907 save percentage, 3.15 goals against average). "I think priority one is handling speed, not necessarily the physicality".

OFFENCE: Centre Mark Scheifele scored seven times in Nashville, establishing an National Hockey League record for road goals in a series. I can tell you one thing, this would not have been tolerated 20 years ago because the players themselves would have policed this vulgar, grotesque action in their own special way, if you know what I mean (wink.wink).

"They play a simple game, as quickly as they can, and they have the skill level to do it". They were given away free of charge to those selected but were immediately fetching as much as $100 apiece on secondary ticket sites. "They get put in positions where they can succeed", Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said.

Winnipeg impressively knocked out Nashville on the road in Game 7 and now has a quick turnaround to host this game.

Upon hearing about the death last of week of former Islanders General Manager Bill Torrey at 83, I started to think back to the late spring of 1972, when the franchise was created.

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