The Winnipeg Jets are one loss away from their season coming to an end and that would mean the Vegas Golden Knights would be in the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season.
The Golden Knights themselves couldn’t have predicted their first season would turn out like this. This is the stuff of Hollywood. However, the good guys don’t always win and this afternoon the Jets become the villains. The Jets will try to avoid the fates of Team Iceland from D2 Mighty Ducks and Monstars from Space Jam and turn the proverbial Hollywood tables on Vegas.
The Jets are in this position because of one man. Marc-Andre Fleury. Winnipeg has been dominant at 5v5 in this series but haven’t been able to solve Fleury. They have bested the Knights with a 54.75 CorsiFor%, a 52.3 Scoring Chances% and a 63.41 High-danger Scoring Chances%. However, Fleury has turned in a ridiculous 96.7 scoring chance save percentage and 94.23 high-danger scoring chance SV%. Connor Hellebuyck sits at 91.57 SCSV% and 76.67 HDSV% in the other crease.
The 3-1 series deficit is borderline unexplainable because the Jets have been extremely disciplined, a downfall of their’s during the regular season, and have done a nice job on the penalty kill all series. The Jets have held Vegas to just 2-for-9 (22.2%) on the power-play while converting 4-for-13 (30.8%) on their own chances. The difference remains at even-strength where the Golden Knights have outscored the Jets 9-5, despite being largely outplayed.
In order to keep the series alive, Hellebuyck will have to be sharp this afternoon. Hellebuyck has allowed 11 goals on 107 shots (.897) and that won’t cut it when Fleury is posting a .930 SV% at the other end. During the regular season, the 25-year-old was 30-5-2 with a 2.31 GAA and .921 SV% on home-ice. He will need to rediscover that game or the Jets will be golfing next week. Winnipeg can feel confident knowing that they are 2-0 in Game 5’s so far this postseason.
Neither team is expected to make any changes to their lineups from Game 4.