This is an Edmonton Oilers vs Winnipeg Jets Stanley Cup playoff preview, and I will try to be as fair as possible. The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of all Calgary Flames fans. There, got that out of the way. Now LET’S GO!
The Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets will face off in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It will mark the first time the two teams have met in the playoffs since back in the late 80’s when the Oilers pretty much won everything. Head-to-head the Jets have never won a playoff series against the Oilers. Let’s see how they stack up this season.
Edmonton Oilers vs Winnipeg Jets Regular Season
The Oilers have won six straight games against the Jets this season and finished with 7 wins and 2 losses. In nine games, the Oilers outscored the Jets 34-22. The Oilers finished the regular season with 35 wins, 18 losses, and 2 overtime losses. The Jets finished with 29 wins, 23 losses, and 3 overtime losses. Oilers lead this preview 1-0.
Ok, let’s be real for a minute. This is no contest… and it’s not even close. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are one of, if not the best duo in the game. Even when they are not playing on a line together on the power play, they are the best one-two punch. McDavid almost has as many points as the Jets’ top two-point leaders. Draisaitl has almost as many points as the Jets’ next two-point leaders.
Sure, people are saying. “But McDavid doesn’t have as many goals as Auston Matthews.” The last time I checked, assists still lead to goals, so McDavid factored into 104 of the Oilers’ goals. For the record, the Jets’ leading scorer this season was Mark Scheifele, with 61 points. Oilers extend their lead in this preview to 2-0.
Tyson Barrie was the highest-scoring D-man in the league this season with 48 points. That would put him second in scoring on the Jets roster. Darnell Nurse was 11th in scoring with 36 points. Hang on; I’m still scrolling to find a Jets Defenceman…
Ok, I get it. It’s not all about points, especially when it comes to D-men. Let’s take a look at plus/minus. Darnell Nurse is tied for first in the league with a +29. I don’t even see another Oilers player or Jets player on the first page of stats. Apparently, Nurse is worth the $6 million Oilers fans say he may ask for. Oilers take a commanding 3-0 lead in this preview.
There’s no doubt that Connor Hellebuyck kept the Jets in a lot of games. He’s excellent! That’s why he is the reigning Vezina winner. Look, I am really trying to be fair and unbiased here, but Mike Smith posted better numbers this season. Smith posted a goals-against average of 2.31 and a .923 save percentage. Hellebuyck had a goals-against average of 2.60, and a .915 save percentage.
While Hellebuyck did outnumber Smith in shutouts 4-3, Smith is a great puck handler as well. He even got three assists this season. But we all know, sometimes Smith leaving the net can be a shit-show. The goaltending is going to be interesting and close. But the Oilers have the slight edge. Oilers win this playoff preview by a score of 4-0.
While the tale of the numbers points towards an Oilers victory in this preview, the Hockey Gods typically work against me (hence the Flames not being in the playoffs). So more than likely, the Jets are going to pull out the series win.
I’m Jason Beisick, and I am covering the Calgary Flames and more for the Belly Up Hockey team. You can follow me on Twitter as well for general sports talk and likely some trash talk, and check out my podcast.