The 2017/18 National Hockey League playoffs are here. Canadian fans, it is time to choose between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Winnipeg Jets. In this piece, we are looking at Winnipeg’s upcoming clash with the Minnesota Wild. Winnipeg are currently one-nil up in the series after winning the opening fixture 3-2 on home ice.
Backing against the Jets in this clash would be foolish considering their efforts in the first match of the series. Winnipeg are not the finished article by any means but the Canadian outfit are in with a real chance of Stanley Cup glory if they keep everybody fit. The 7/1 with bet365 could turn out to be a massive price if the Jets fulfil their potential.
Meanwhile, Minnesota are in dire need of a confidence boosting win. Losing the opener can have an adverse effect on a team’s chances and an immediate response is required. At their brilliant best, the Wild are capable of winning against anybody and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Minnesota bounce back at the first time of asking.
Wonderful Winnipeg Are A Joy To Watch
The Jets are playing some scintillating hockey right now and plenty of punters will be getting behind Winnipeg in their pursuit of Stanley Cup glory. Winning ice hockey’s ultimate prize is a tough ask but Paul Maurice’s men are well placed to go deep into the postseason. At this moment in time, it would be foolish to write Winnipeg off despite their lack of experience at the top level.
Canadian fans will want the Jets to get the series done and dusted before Game 7 but fans will feel confident in the knowledge that Winnipeg have that encounter on home ice if it is needed. If they continue to play like this, the Jets could have the series wrapped up well before that.
KEY MAN: Blake Wheeler. Wheeler has been unbelievable in 2017/18, notching 91 points in 81 regular season appearances. Winnipeg’s shining star missed just one match during the campaign and he bagged an assist in their opener against the Wild earlier this week. Watch this space; if Wheeler is at his best, Winnipeg may be too hot to handle.
Wild Will Be Determined To Respond
Minnesota have developed a reputation in recent years for their aggressive defense and the Wild need to get back to those traits if they are to stand any chance of success here. Bruce Boudreau’s side have the talent needed to defeat the Jets but do they have the courage and determination? Only time will tell.
That victory was Winnipeg’s first in franchise history and that lack of experience could come back to haunt the Jets in the coming days. A win for Minnesota here will give the Wild a real opportunity to build momentum on home ice; the Jets could find themselves 3-1 down in the series.
KEY MAN: Mikael Granlund. Eric Staal finished the regular season as Minnesota’s top points scorer but Granlund is our one to watch here. He notched an assist in the opening match of the series and seemed to cope well with the added pressure of playing in the playoffs. With a bit of luck, the Wild star could lead his side to victory this weekend.
Another close affair looks likely and another Jets victory could be on the cards. Winnipeg are heading in the right direction and it is hard to back against the Canadian outfit on home ice; they could just about edge this one. Minnesota will be quietly confident of turning things around but the Wild will need everything to go their way. Unfortunately for them, the Jets may prove too strong on home ice.
JETS 4-3 WILD