In order to beat the Jets, the Knights hopes rest on Fleury
May 15, 2018 3:02 AM
by Alan Berg
For the listeners of the Cash Considerations Podcast (episodes weekly and often bi-weekly) my opinion is clear – the Winnipeg Jets are the better team and are going to win this series.
I can’t think of too many times in my sporting life I hope I am dead wrong. Game 1 was a great view of how good Winnipeg can be, completely controlling the game from the first puck drop to the last. By the time this article hits the presses, Vegas will have either stolen home ice (fingers crossed) or the Jets are right on schedule for my prediction of a five-game series.
Two things have to happen for the Knights to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
1. Marc-Andre Fleury must win this series. 2. Marc-Andre Fleury must win this series.
Folks, the Jets are so stacked on each line that the Knights don’t have the defenseman depth needed to control the defensive zone on a regular basis. So, it comes down to the face of the franchise. As Big Dave pointed out: “He will have to stand on his head.” A classic hockey term that is massively on point here.
Fleury’s outlook? Make the stops he shouldn’t and stop everything he should. Do that consistently and he will hold the Jets to 1 or 2 goals per game and the Knights offense can do the rest. It’s not a fair ask, but for Vegas to advance this is how it will have to be.
It was classic Knights, the penalties got them into trouble in Game 1 and I would bet if they lost Game 2 that problem reared its head again. They must stay disciplined yet physical to keep the Jets working for every inch. This is the Western Conference Finals, each series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs gets more intense and the Knights need to match that level.
On to the games:
Winnipeg at Vegas
I will assume my prediction came true and the Jets arrive with a 2-0 series lead. If that is the case, Vegas will be in all kinds of trouble. Winnipeg had pressure playing at home the first two games after the series with Nashville.
If they are up 2-0, back on track. Clearly, they had no problem going into the Predators’ home and winning games taking 3-of-4 at Nashville, including Game 7. With the Knights’ backs against the wall for the first time all season, the Jets roll again. However, if the Jets lost Game 2, Vegas will have weathered the storm and will take the lead in the series off the road win momentum. JETS (if up 2-0), KNIGHTS (if series is tied 1-1)
Winnipeg at Vegas
Again, much depends on where we are in the series. If the Knights are down 3-0, I believe they find the next gear needed to send the series back to Winnipeg, avoiding the sweep at T-Mobile Arena. However, if the series is Jets 2-1, or Knights 2-1 I have no doubt the Jets will rebound and take a 3-1 lead back to Canada or will have tied this series up at 2. KNIGHTS (only if down 3-0), JETS (any other series count).
Vegas at Winnipeg (if necessary)
Obviously throughout this article it’s clear I think no matter the situation the Jets will win Game 5. As a fan I hope it comes back to Vegas for Game 6, but I believe this is where the road ends on the dream season for the Golden Knights. JETS