National Hockey League playoffs scores: Golden Knights advance to West final after beating Sharks

Dean Simpson
May 12, 2018

The Jets won 5-1, and advanced to the Western Conference final. Called the "Yo-Yo" series because of all the up and downs (with each team taking turns stinking the joint out), it should be the Jets turn, who are carrying our nation on their shoulders, to come up big. They have gone so far past first expectations that we could see an expansion team win the Stanley Cup in its first ever season. "They're a great mix of responsibility, play hard underneath the puck and they can make some pretty dynamic plays".

The Jets and Vegas Golden Knights will meet in the Western Conference Final after the Jets knocked off the defending Stanley Cup finalist, and first place overall Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

Only four players expected see action on Thursday for Winnipeg have played in a Game 7, while Nashville could have 16 or more.

The Jets have an extremely talented second line, led by 44-goal scorer Patrik Laine.

We just have to keep playing and I hope we keep doing the same thing. That is a huge edge for a team at this time of the year and I will look for the Golden Knights to take full advantage.

The IIHF World Hockey Championships are underway in Denmark and Team Canada seems to be cruising right along. As a team the players have rallied behind the fact that they were all cast aside by their old teams. Both have ended up being two of Vegas' best players and National Hockey League circles are now saying it's unfair because the salary cap forced Florida to move Smith.

Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff knows the team's success this spring is special for the players and fans.

The players Vegas drafted of course were going to be of higher quality than usual, even if guys like William Karlsson (43 regular season goals) and Erik Haula (29) never produced at anywhere near these levels.

After the Jets squandered a chance to clinch at home in Game 6, he bounced back with the 36-save effort on the biggest stage of his career in Game 7. All the tickets for Saturday were snapped up. They have been very solid at the defensive end of the ice, during the postseason, as they come in ranked 3rd in goals allowed, giving up 2.25 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots allowed (28.6 spg) and 10th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 25.0% of their chances. "They had 109 points".

Wheeler isn't buying that label.

"I think you approach it as you approached all the games you played so far in the playoffs", Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. "It's not a Cinderella (story)". They went on to win the Pacific Division and then took out the Kings in four games before knocking off the Sharks in six. The problem for the Jets here is that they didn't play well at home in their series against the Preds and they will be very exhausted for this one, while the Golden Knights haven't played since Sunday.

Unlike last round, when the head coaches on opposite benches had a history of replacing one another with the Carolina Hurricanes, Jets bench boss Paul Maurice doesn't have a personal connection with Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant. "I think priority one is handling speed, not necessarily the physicality".

In the final period "Winnipeg" calmly finished off a home - Stastny scored twice in the majority, and Cheifly his second goal in the match scored in the counterattack, when the gate "Nashville" was already empty. "I didn't get a whole lot of minutes at the beginning, but even if I get eight minutes, I still go out there and do my best and try to make those eight minutes count". The Golden Knights got here by taking out the San Jose Sharks in six games, while the Jets moved on by topping the Predators in seven games.

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