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Predators vs. Jets Series Preview: Matchup Overview

NHL: Nashville Predators at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators are moving on!

After a nervy first round series win over the Avalanche, the Preds will now face the 2nd best team in the NHL for a chance to advance to the Western Conference Final. The Jets beat the Wild in five games and they did it with a flourish. Outside of a 6-2 loss in Game 3, the Jets dominated play at both ends of the ice, outscoring the Wild 16-9 in the series.

All of the stats you see below are from the regular season, but this tweet by Natural Stat Trick details how completely overwhelming the Jets were in those five games (the shot chart is for Games 1-4 and they won Game 5 by a score of 5-0):

Yikes. This is going to be tough.

Team Comparison at Even-Strength (Regular Season)

Winnipeg Jets

  • 3.3 goals per game, all situations (2nd)
  • 51.1% Corsi-For (11th)
  • 51.9% scoring chances for (9th)
  • 52.4% high danger chances for (7th)
  • 52.8% expected goals for (5th)
  • Team shooting percentage: 9.3% (8th)
  • Team save percentage: 92.2% (7th)

Nashville Predators

  • 3.2 goals per game, all situations (8th)
  • 51.1% Corsi-For (12th)
  • 49.4% scoring chances for (17th)
  • 48.8% high danger chances for (18th)
  • 50.9% expected goals for (15th)
  • Team shooting percentage: 8.9% (12th)
  • Team save percentage: 93.2% (1st)

Special Teams Comparison

Winnipeg Jets

  • Penalty kill: 123.2 shot attempts allowed per sixty minutes (31st), success rate 81.8%
  • Power play: 101.7 shot attempts for per sixty minutes (18th), success rate 23.4%
  • Penalty differential (penalties drawn - penalties taken): -16 (24th)

Nashville Predators

  • Penalty kill: 99.1 shot attempts allowed per sixty minutes (8th) , success rate 81.9%
  • Power play: 103.3 shot attempts for per sixty minutes (15th), success rate 21.1%
  • Penalty differential (penalties drawn - penalties taken): -28 (25th)

Key Players for the Jets

  • Blake Wheeler—who I can’t believe is 31 years old—led the team with 91 points. Extremely underrated player for the Jets, he pretty much does it all.
  • Patrik Laine scored 44 goals this year and is shooting 18%. That’s not going to be fun to watch.
  • Mark Scheifele battled injuries all season, but still finished with a point per game: 60 points in 60 games.
  • Kyle Connor had 57 points, including 31 goals, but was left out of the Calder race. He’s a great all-around scorer with solid speed.
  • Speaking of speed, Nikolaj Ehlers has a lot of it but is battling an injury. Something to keep an eye on.
  • You will probably hate Dustin Byfuglien a lot by the end of the series (if you don’t already).
  • Joel Armia, Andrew Copp, and Mathieu Perreault are great skaters with plenty of offensive ability.
  • Connor Hellebuyck: Vezina Trophy finalist with a .924 save percentage a league leading 44 wins.

All stats via NHL.com, naturalstattrick.com, and corsica.hockey, and are even-strength unless otherwise stated