The unlikely Western Conference Finals between the Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets was a wild one in Winnipeg. It was quite the atmosphere in Winnipeg, with a whiteout in full effect. The Jets had the 6th man on their side as the crowd would not let up at all. There was even a flyover before the game, which was a bit bizarre for a hockey game but whatever helps. The Jets punched the Golden Knights in the mouth right from the get-go. They made sure that the energy wasn’t going to be sucked out of the crowd with the hot start. One more goal that period and Fleury I believe would have been yanked. Instead, the Jets went to the intermission with 3 goals and plenty of momentum.
The 3rd goal didn’t go without controversy. On a deflection in front of the net, at first look it looked like the puck may have been kicked in, and then on second look, it looked like there was goaltender interference. It wasn’t kicked in but I could make the case it was directed in the net. The goaltending interference, which was ultimately a no-call, was a good call. The puck was just about in the net when Fleury was nudged. I was at the Golden Knights’ watch party, and the people there were most certainly in disagreement with my opinion there. In any event, the Jets went up 3-0 and it was goodnight on the Knights. For Vegas, they must take the crowd out of the game early or it will be more of the same in Game 2. Head below for our free Golden Knights vs. Jets Game 2 pick.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets Game 2 Pick
There was a clear advantage to the Jets that was clear in Game 1. The size advantage was pretty evident quickly, as the Jets used their size to impose their will on the Knights to take control of the contest. Vegas from a weight and height perspective, cannot compete with the Jets in that sense. Gerard Gallant must draw up something much better to counter the Jets’ size. Unfortunately for them, there will not be a Dustin Byfuglien suiting up for the Knights on Monday night. Fleury has a shaky night, allowing 4 goals on 26 nights, but some blame must go to his defence as well.
Hellebuyck went about his business for the Jets, like he’s done all season long. The most underrated netminder in the business turned back 19 of 21 stops. There is no surprise that this team was 5th in the regular season in goals allowed per game. They were also a top-notch unit offensively and are presently tied for 1st in goal scoring in the playoffs. The Jets are a better team than they’re getting credit for, still somehow. I think the Knights need some home energy to get things going but that isn’t until Game 3 on Wednesday. They have to deal with another wild crowd in Winnipeg for Game 2. Coupled with the fact that nothing is going to change from a size perspective on Monday, this should be another win for the Jets to go up 2-0 in the best-of-seven.