This has been one of the more entertaining Stanley Cup Playoffs in recent memory. Hockey is always wildly entertaining come playoff time, but there have been some storylines this year. In Winnipeg, the Jets can go ahead in their best-of-seven series by a comfortable margin of 3-1. Game 3 got a little crazy, as the Jets saved Connor Hellebyuck with a big come from behind victory. It was 3-0 in favour of the Predators by the end of the 1st period, and then by the end of the 2nd, it was 4-3 for the Jets.
The Jets didn’t let up after they got down. In fact, it was a fairly even game at 3-0. Hellebyuck could have easily had all three of those goals. The first was a tricky redirect, but it was a puck that trickled through him, which could have been swallowed up. The Jets were clearly the faster team and aggressors in the 2nd and 3rd period.
They say it’s awfully difficult to get back to the Stanley Cup Final for a team that just was there. It’s been done several times before, and the Penguins are another team who have a chance to do it in 2018. However, the legs on the Predators sure looked tired in Winnipeg. The Jets were beating the Preds to the puck, winning battles in the corners, and getting physical along the boards.
We’ll see what Nashville has for a response, but they’re going to be have it tough again. If it weren’t for Hellebyuck not being able to stop a beachball in the 1st period, that wouldn’t have been a competitive game, the Jets were going to run away with it. We were fortunate enough to be on the winning side in Game 3, and hopefully we can do the same for Game 4. Head below for our free Predators vs. Jets Game 4 pick.
Nashville Predators vs. Winnipeg Jets Game 4 Pick
The Jets looked like the more energized team in Game 3. Even with the softies given up by Hellebyuck, the Predators were never able to build off the momentum. Nashville will have to deal with another wild crowd in Winnipeg tonight. If they can do that, they will go back home with a tied series. Rinne did not play his best game in net for the Preds, but he didn’t get much help from his defensive unit, either. The Jets had 45 shots on net on the heels of a 50 shot performance in Game 2. Something is bound to break with that kind of action in front of the net, regardless if you’re Pekka Rinne or not.
Nevertheless, Rinne has not been playing too well in this series. The defence helped him out immensely in Game 1, allowing just 19 shots to get to him, and he allowed 4 goals. The Jets made the most of their opportunities and cashed in. In the last two games, it’s been a matter of pummeling Rinne until he taps out. The Predators will be bringing it tonight, so Hellebyuck must do a much better job.
The Jets did an excellent job helping him out in the 2nd and 3rd period, the Preds didn’t generate many chances at all. However, they cannot expect the Predators to play so lackadaisical again for two periods of play. Offence has been the name of the game between these two, with the OVER going 7-3 in their last ten meetings. There was an average of 10 goals per in Game 2 and 3. The Jets will likely continue to bring it behind the home crowd, but the Predators are going to be throwing the kitchen sink at Hellebyuck here. Another high-scoring game looks appealing in Game 4.