Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Knights vs. Jets: Game 1 Prediction, NHL Playoff Odds

Previewing the 2018 Conference Finals By the numbers: Winnipeg Jets vs. Vegas Golden Knights series preview
Cary Erickson | 13 May, 2018, 01:21

In fact, the 33-year-old Fleury has become a big deal in Las Vegas, something he wasn't anticipating when he landed with the expansion club. The Vegas Golden Knights are now all that stands between the Jets and a berth in the Stanley Cup finals.

"Usually he plays better the more that's on the line". If he sees the puck, most of the times he's going to save it.

The postseason could not have been much different than the regular season for goalie Pekka Rinne who is favored to win the Vezina Trophy in his fourth try after tying for the National Hockey League lead with a career-high eight shutouts.

And with his numbers, who's to argue?

The Jets begin its series against the Vegas Golden Knights with home games on Saturday and Monday, followed by away games on Wednesday and Friday. "For us, we wouldn't be here if we didn't have him".

"I do look at it as a whole, and I'm very happy with how hard I worked, but I never really changed how hard I work; I just continued working the way I always did", he said. Only the Lightning have won the cup before and that was before the lockout so many years ago. "Guys see that, especially the younger guys and it builds a lot of character in our room".

The Golden Knights exposed this weakness in the first round with Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. And he's still working to refine his game.

"There's absolutely a different feel", he said.

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Fleury had five days off in between series while Hellebuyck will have had just 48 hours to prepare for one of the fastest and most potent offenses in the league.

Neal said it's impossible not to be affected by Fleury's enthusiasm.

"It was maybe a little bit of a shock, but I'm proud of our team, our organization, the way they did things here", he said.

Bobby Hull, Anders Hedberg, Ulf Nilsson - the Hot Line - and 12 other members of the 1977-78 WHA Jets are in town for a reunion and they're cheering like insane for the new incarnation of the team. "It's the final game for one team".

"It's now thinking about the pieces to the team, it's thinking about completing the staff, it's everything you like to do as a coach", Montgomery said. "On and off the ice, he's a phenomenal goalie". "Even if you think you have a wide open net, you better bear down because he's jumping, coming across with something to save it". A great leader, a fun guy to be around. Winnipeg's top line of Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler scored a combined 208 points in the regular season. 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. They did struggle at home in that series and that could come into play here, especially since they are a exhausted bunch, while the Golden Knights will be well rested. Vegas ended up with 109 points in what's been called a fairytale campaign for an expansion team.

"We hope he continues to do it obviously, and hope the team does that [too]".

"He said he wanted to hire me but they didn't know at the time if one assistant or two assistants were leaving", Montgomery said.