The Vegas Golden Knights will try and continue their amazing run, as they take on the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference Finals. The Golden Knights have rolled through the first two rounds of the NHL Playoffs, while the Jets are coming off a very tough seven-game series against Nashville. The Jets will have home ice advantage in this best-of-seven series and they are a slight favorite to win the series. Let’s look at the series and Stanley Cup Playoff picks.
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Vegas Golden Knights +125
Winnipeg Jets -145
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets
If you look simply at the odds, this series should be very even, as the price is basically a pick, with Winnipeg favored simply because they have the home ice edge. Home ice hasn’t meant a great deal in the playoffs, as Winnipeg proved in the last round, as they went into Nashville and won Game 7. The Golden Knights and Jets are two very fast teams, so this should be an exciting series to watch. They both also have excellent goaltenders, as Marc-Andre Fleury has been the best goaltender in the playoffs, while Connor Hellebuyck is a Vezina Trophy finalist.
Vegas was 5th in the league in goals scored this season, while Winnipeg was 2nd. The Jets have the red-hot Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine and rookie Kyle Connor, while the Golden Knights have William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and James Neal. The Jets have potent power play that ranked 5th in the league and they were 9th best in penalty killing. The Golden Knights were 11th on the power play and 12th in penalty killing.
Karlsson, Marchessault and Smith vs. Scheifele, Wheeler and Connor
If the Jets win this matchup then this series could be shorter than most people expect, because Vegas relies heavily on their top line to produce. Marchesseault leads the Golden Knights with 11 points in the playoffs. The Winnipeg top line is led by Scheifele who leads the league with 11 playoff goals. If Scheifele stays hot the Jets have a good chance to win this series. Vegas simply has to get a lot of production from their top line because they don’t have anywhere near the scoring depth that Winnipeg has. The Jets leading scorer, Patrick Laine actually plays on the second line. Keep an eye on this matchup of top lines, as there is a good chance it will decide which team wins this series.
The Golden Knights and Jets met three times this season with Vegas winning two of the three. All three games were relatively high scoring, although the last one did end with a 3-2 score. The other two games had final scores of 5-2 and 7-4. The teams met twice in Winnipeg and each team pulled out a win.
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I have been shocked by just how good Vegas has been this season and throughout the playoffs. The difference this time around is that Vegas is playing a better team. In the first two rounds the Golden Knights played two teams that finished behind them in the standings in Los Angeles and San Jose. This time around the Golden Knights take on Winnipeg who finished five points in front of them in the standings. It also means the Golden Knights will not have home ice advantage in this series. And keep in mind that Winnipeg was the best home team in the NHL this season. The Jets have more overall depth than the Golden Knights and if they finally get Patrick Laine going this could be a shorter series than many people expect. I’ll lay the small price and take Winnipeg to win this series.
NHL Odds: Jets to Win the Series
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