Raise your hand if you saw Marc-Andre Fleury and the Golden Knights giving up 3 quick goals en route to a 4-2 loss in Game 1. If you did, then congrats because most pundits didn’t see it happening. Now, the question is – will it happen again in Game 2? Will Fleury and Vegas rebound or will they end up down 0-2 in the Western Conference Finals?
It’s baffling how everything went wrong for the Golden Knights in Game 1. They were 8-2 coming into the series and fully rested after having 5 days off. Now they face the real possibility of going down two games and having to dig out of a hole that might be too difficult for them.
The Golden Knights can’t afford to get into a shootout with the Jets as they’re red hot right now. Winnipeg’s Scheifele leads the league with 12 post season goals and has 18 total points. His teammate Wheeler also has 18 points and leads the league with 15 assists. In the playoffs, the Jets have scored 24 goals at home for a 3.5 goals per game average. Additionally, they’re averaging over 33 shots per game.
For the Golden Knights, they must slow down this Winnipeg offense. And, that all begins with Fleury. Coming into this series, Fleury had a .951 save percentage and was clearly the best goalie in the world. Unfortunately, he gave up 3 goals in the first 10 minutes of Game 1 and the Golden Knights could never come back. Additionally, Vegas allowed Winnipeg to go 2-of-4 on power plays.
Fleury will need to recapture some of his playoff magic in order to slow down the Jets and give his team a fighting chance. With the way he’s played overall, I expect him to have a much better game today.
Vegas will also need to muster up more shots on Connor Hellebuyck, who outplayed Fleury in Game 1. The Golden Knights were only able to get 21 shots on net, but went 1 for 2 on power plays. Vegas was able to outshoot Winnipeg in the final period of Game 1, but it was only 8 to 4. Regardless of how Fleury plays, Vegas needs to put more pressure on Winnipeg’s defense and Hellebuyck.
For the Jets, they just need to continue their play from Game 1 and the previous series against Nashville. Winnipeg didn’t look tired at all and came out on fire in the first period of Game 1. They tallied 22 shots and 4 goals on Vegas in the first two periods and never looked back. The Jets will look to get after Fleury early again and run out to another big lead.
Even with the scoring being fast and furious over the first 2 periods of Game 1, the game finished with only 6 goals. In their 23 combined playoff games this postseason, the total has gone over 6 goals on 8 occasions. That means roughly 2/3rds of their combined games have been 6 goals or less. On the road, Vegas only played in one game that went over 6 combined goals. At home, Winnipeg has only played in one game that has gone over 6 total goals.
The Under is 3-1-2 in the last 6 road games for Vegas and 7-1-1 in the last 9 home games for Winnipeg.
I like the under this game as I believe Fleury will play better. Even at his worst, he only gave up 4 goals. Look for both teams to try and slow down the opposing offenses and capitalize on any mistakes. This should provide for a lower scoring game.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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