Here are the matchups for the Golden Knights-Jets series

Updated May 11, 2018 - 9:17 pm

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — The Golden Knights went 2-1 against the Winnipeg Jets in the regular season.

But it has been awhile since the Knights faced the Jets, and Winnipeg has a different look from the last time they met.

So who has the edge in the Western Conference Final?

Forwards

The Knights had strong play from their top two lines in the second round against San Jose, particularly from William Karlsson. Later in the series, the bottom six forwards played better and helped the Knights advance.

The Jets are explosive with numerous weapons. It starts with center Mark Scheifele and right wing Blake Wheeler, who are 1-2 in team playoff scoring, Scheifele leads the Jets with 16 points (11 goals, five assists), and Wheeler has a team-best 12 assists and 15 points.

The addition of center Paul Stastny has paid off. He added scoring and a strong forecheck playing alongside Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehilers. Laine, who is dangerous whenever he has the puck, has just three goals, and Ehlers has yet to score through two rounds. So the Jets might need more production out of that line. The player who has given Winnipeg a boost is fourth-line left wing Brandon Tanev, who has four goals.

Knights coach Gerard Gallant’s juggling of his lines paid off against San Jose. He returned David Perron to the second line, dropped Alex Tuch to Cody Eakin’s third line and inserted Ryan Reaves on the fourth line after Will Carrier got hurt in Game 5. Gallant probably will keep those units together at the start of the series, but he could bring back Tomas Nosek or Tomas Tatar if anyone struggles.

Edge: Jets

Defensemen

The Knights don’t have anyone with the skill set of the Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien. He’s big, strong, fast, hits hard and can generate offense. Byfuglien was a force against Nashville and plays major minutes. The Jets also have received strong play from Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey, who are adept in the transition game and can move people out from in front of the crease.

The return of Luca Sbisa to the Knights’ lineup against San Jose paid off with strong performances in Games 5 and 6. If he stays healthy, he makes the defensive corps stronger.

Edge: Jets

Goaltender

Marc-Andre Fleury has been the NHL’s best goalie through the first two rounds. He’s making tough saves look routine.

Connor Hellebuyck has been strong for the Jets, and the Vezina Trophy finalist works well with his defensemen and his rebound control is good.

Edge: Golden Knights

Special teams

The Jets have several weapons on the power play, but have scored on only 22.6 percent of their opportunities in the playoffs, which ranks eighth. Still, when Byfuglien is quarterbacking the power play and with Laine, Scheifele, Wheeler and Stastny out there, there’s a lot of pressure on the opponent’s penalty kill.

Having Perron back in the lineup has helped the Knights on the power play. He plays a position near the top of the faceoff circle by the half-wall, much like Jonathan Marchessault does, and both are adept at finding the open man to get a clean shot. The Knights haven’t had much success on their power play in the postseason, ranking last among the remaining teams at 17.5 percent.

But when it comes to killing penalties, the Knights are the best of the remaining four teams. They have an 85 percent success rate and have allowed just six goals in 40 short-handed situations. The Jets have the lowest penalty-killing percentage at 75 percent.

Edge: Golden Knights

Coaching

Paul Maurice was supposedly on the hot seat entering the season in Winnipeg, but all he did was lead the Jets to their best season since returning to the city from Atlanta in 2011. He never panics and stands up for his players. He’s not afraid to make a move.

It’s hard to argue with what Gallant has done. Every move seems to work. He has kept things light and loose, and it shows in the way his players perform after a loss. They have displayed great resiliency and take their cue from him. He doesn’t over-coach, either.

Edge: Golden Knights

Intangibles

The Knights are relatively healthy with only Carrier questionable. They’ve played fewer games (10) than the Jets (12), so they will be rested. It could be a factor in Game 1 after the Jets played Game 7 at Nashville on Thursday night, then traveled back to Winnipeg.

For the first time in the playoffs, the Knights don’t have home-ice advantage. It means Winnipeg would host a Game 7. But home ice hasn’t been much of an advantage in these playoffs.

Gallant doesn’t get to make the last change, but because he rolls out four lines and never gets involved in chess matches, it shouldn’t be an issue on the road. The Knights appear to have a little more depth, giving Gallant more flexibility with his lineup.

Edge: Golden Knights

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Edge: Deryk Engelland Rides With Kurt Busch
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond heads to city national arena and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to see Kurt Busch attempt to learn how to play hockey, and Deryk Engelland hop in a race car.
William Karlsson and the Golden Knights are headed to arbitration
Of all the salary arbitration cases in the NHL this summer, none is more compelling than the one involving William Karlsson and the Golden Knights. Karlsson is seeking $6.5 million annually in arbitration. The Knights countered with an offer of $3.5 million annually. Karlsson's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Saturday in Toronto. During the hearing, the player and team present evidence. The arbitrator then has 48 hours to render a decision, and the team decides on a one- or two-year contract. Karlsson’s agent and the Knights can continue to negotiate a new contract prior to the hearing.
William Karlsson and the Golden Knights are headed to arbitration
Of all the salary arbitration cases in the NHL this summer, none is more compelling than the one involving William Karlsson and the Golden Knights. Karlsson is seeking $6.5 million annually in arbitration. The Knights countered with an offer of $3.5 million annually. Karlsson's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Saturday in Toronto. During the hearing, the player and team present evidence. The arbitrator then has 48 hours to render a decision, and the team decides on a one- or two-year contract. Karlsson’s agent and the Knights can continue to negotiate a new contract prior to the hearing.
Golden Edge: Floor Hockey Clinic
Bryan Salmond travels to the Paradise Recreational Center for the Las Vegas Golden Knights floor hockey clinic with special guest Golden Knights defenseman and Mark Messier Leadership Award winner Deryk Engelland.
Golden Edge: Off Season Update
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and sports columnist Ed Graney go over the Knights free angency and signing Marc-Andre Fleury.
Fleury on his three-year extension: To stay in Vegas a long time was big
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said he's glad he'll be a part of the team for a long time. Fleury spoke about signing a three-year contract extension at a news conference at the City National Arena in Las Vegas on Friday.
Las Vegas Morning Update - Thursday, July 5
Las Vegas Morning Update - Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Golden Edge: Free Agency Update
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and Golden Knights beat writer David Schoen go over the latest free agency news from the Vegas Golden Knights.
Golden Edge: Knights Host Scrimmage
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over the Knights second day of scrimmage at City National Arena.
Golden Edge: Prospects Prepare For Scrimmage
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over the Knights getting ready to participate in a scrimmage for the next few days.
Golden Edge: Previous Prospects Fight For Spot
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over day two of the Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Edge: One-On-One With Reid Duke
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond interviews Golden Knights prospect Reid Duke.
Las Vegas Morning Update - Wednesday, June 27
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Development Camp
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over the Golden Knights development camp and how the prospects are looking to improve their game.
Las Vegas Morning Update - Tuesday, June 26, 2018
David Perron, James Neal set to leave Golden Knights
David Perron, James Neal set to leave Golden Knights Perron and Neal were key contributors on the second line for the Knights, helping the expansion team to the Pacific Division and Western Conference championships. Perron’s agent, Allan Walsh, told the Review-Journal on Sunday that the Knights have not made a new contract offer since the season ended. Neal turned down a five-year, $25 million offer from the Knights at the trade deadline, according to the Calgary Sun.
Golden Edge 2018 NHL Draft Recap
Bryan Salmond Recaps The Vegas Golden Knights 2018 Draft picks Rounds 2-7.
Golden Edge : NHL Draft Round 1
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over the first round of the NHL Draft picks and the rumors surrounding the Knights recruiting Ilya Kovalchuk.
Golden Knights 2018 NHL Draft Preview
Golden Edge video host Bryan Salmond provides a preview heading into the 2018 NHL Draft and Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee discusses how the team has prepared for it.
Golden Knights Release Schedule For 2018-19 NHL Season
Golden Knights release schedule for 2018-19 NHL season. The Golden Knights will play five of their first six games on the road. The Knights are at Washington on Oct. 10 in a rematch of the Stanley Cup Final and face Pittsburgh the following night. The NHL previously announced the Knights open the season at home Oct. 4 against Philadelphia.
Las Vegas Morning Update - Thursday, June 21
Golden Edge: Knights Take Home Four Awards
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond recaps the NHL awards where the Golden Knights won in four of the categories.
George McPhee On Winning General Manager Of The Year
Golden Knights General Manager George Mcphee talks about winning General Manager of the Year and the Golden Knights.
Deryk Engelland On Winning Mark Messier Award
Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland talks about winning the Mark Messier award how much impact a team can have on a community.
Gerard Gallant On Winning Jack Adams Award
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks about winning the Jack Adams award at the NHL Awards.
William Karlsson On Winning The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
William Karlsson goes over the Golden Knights season and him winning the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Las Vegas Morning Update - Tuesday, June 19
Golden Knights release 2018 preseason schedule
The Golden Knights will be back on the ice at T-Mobile Arena Sept. 16. The team’s 2018 NHL preseason schedule was announced Monday. Scheduled is a matchup with the L.A. Kings — Sept. 20 at Staples Center and Sept. 28 at T-Mobile. Two games against the Colorado Avalanche — Sept. 18 in Denver and Sept. 24 at T-Mobile. Two games against the San Jose Sharks — Sept. 22 at San Jose and Sept. 30 in Las Vegas. The team also announced it will hold its training camp at City National Arena beginning Sept. 13.
Golden Edge Look Ahead: What The Knights Next Season Will Look Like
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond, Review-Journals sports columnist Ed Graney and Adam Hill go over what to expect from the Golden Knights next season.
Las Vegas Morning Update - Thursday, June 14
Golden Knights fans give advice to their team
Golden Knights fans give advice to the team as they head into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final down 3-1 against the Washington Capitals. (Rochelle Richards/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Knights fans swarm T-Mobile Arena for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final
Vegas Golden Knights fans party at Toshiba Plaza outside T-Mobile Arena before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Washington Capitals on May 30, 2018 in Las Vegas.
Crowd goes crazy moments before puck drop
The crowd at T-Mobile Arena goes crazy moments before the puck drops in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals, Monday, May 28, 2018 in Las Vegas. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights fans swarm T-Mobile Arena before Game 1
Golden Knights fans swarm T-Mobile Arena before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Washington Capitals, Monday, May 28, 2018 in Las Vegas. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves becomes Golden Knights' latest unlikely hero
Ryan Reaves has become the Golden Knights latest unlikely hero. Reaves scored the series-clinching goal in the Western Conference Finals. It was his first goal with the Golden Knights. It came after Reaves sat for Vegas' first nine playoff games. Now he's become a integral part of the team's forecheck. He gets his chance and he goes in there and he played great hockey. It’s not surprising.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like