Jets pummel Predators in Game 7

An Inside Look at Capturing the Vegas Golden Knights' Expansion Season

An Inside Look at Capturing the Vegas Golden Knights' Expansion Season

What a difference a year makes.

We knew Winnipeg would be decent this season but no one was predicting the Jets to be the second-best team in the National Hockey League and into the conference final and you know the story of the first year Golden Knights. "They had 109 points".

A lot of hockey fans are very disappointed, and they should be, that the NHL head office didn't penalize Brad Marchand for all his Neanderthal antics on the ice, namely the licking of an opposition player's face.

Elsewhere on Thursday night, the Winnipeg Jets (-145) are favored against the Nashville Predators (+125), also with a 6.0-goal total in Game 4 of their second-round series. Also defending for the Predators is Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland. The Vegas Golden Knights were clearly not keen on joining that trend.

GOALTENDING: The Knights have a Cup champion in Marc-Andre Fleury, who leads all playoff goalies with a paltry 1.53 GAA and incredible.951 save percentage.

Averaging 28.3 saves per game with a.924 save percentage, Connor Hellebuyck (52-27-10) has been the primary option in goal for the Jets this year. It was impressive watching the Knights beat the Sharks with their relentless work ethic in the series-clinching win. He was knocking pucks in the corner and clearing out the front (Thursday night). The GM acquired Paul Stastny at the trade deadline this past February, and the 32-year-old veteran had a pair of goals and an assist and now has six goals and 14 points in the post-season.

Sophomore sniper Patrik Laine was glad he wasn't on his way to Finland.

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. The next-closest in goals for the Jets is center Paul Stastny, who has accounted for six goals and eight assists. What's more, they tied the 1977-78 Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association for the longest expansion win streak (8). Scoring first in Game 7 wasn't imperative, but it's something the Jets wanted, and they got it thanks to Tyler Myers.

The Golden Knights, who surpassed its season-high 13 penalties in minutes with 22 PIM, found themselves in the box more than, 11-6.

Next up for Fleury and Vegas will be the Western Conference Final against either Winnipeg or Nashville.

The bigger problem, the one that should matter to Jets fans, is this: are the Jets hung over from their efforts and now face a fresh and rested Golden Knights, a team that seem to have no rest for the tired?

One day after being put "on notice" by the National Hockey League for licking Lightning forward Ryan Callahan during Friday night's overtime loss in Game 4, there were no more such incidents involving Bruins winger Brad Marchand, who also made headlines after appearing to lick Toronto's Leo Komarov in the first round. This is the furthest any Jets team has ever made it. Winnipeg's goal differential of plus-8 is second in the playoffs to plus-10 for Vegas.

Game 1 is a massive opportunity for the Golden Knights to jump on their opponent, take the crowd out of the game early, and possibly steal a road game due to the layoff between Round 2 and 3.

Now they're halfway up the mountain and favoured over Vegas in this series.

Winnipeg is 4-2 on the road in the playoffs after splitting a pair in Minnesota in its opening-round series against the Wild.

Winnipeg regained home-ice advantage for the best-of-seven series due to their overall second-place finish with 114 points.

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