If you had any question as to if this was going to be a tough series, I bet Thursday's game answered it for you. The 4-2 score is a little misleading as to just how tight of a game it was, but Anaheim was able to turn it on about midway through. Let's hope they can keep it up.
Anyway, on Thursday our friends at Arctic Ice Hockey, SB Nation's Winnipeg Jets blog, posted my answers to some questions their writer Jacob Stoller asked me. Since I am a lazy man, I simply shot back the same questions to Jacob (plus three additional not-so-clever ones) and asked him to return the favor.
He did, so here's what he had to say, my response to his answers are in brackets. Questions were asked and answered prior to game 1...
Q: What is the Jets' biggest strength?
The Jets biggest strength would have to be their size. They play a physical game and use their size to their advantage and they seem to ware teams down and gain a lot of momentum throughout the course of a game. It's a real big strength for the Jets that they can ( finally) effectively run four lines. This helps minimize the workload all together on the forward core and makes the Jets a harder team to play against. The Jets are rough, tough and in your face and nobody wants to mess with the Jets. Oh, and they are pretty good at hockey as well.
[ Jer: I probably would have said something like their posession game and pointed to their score-adjusted corsi being rather impressive, but sure, let's go with size and truculence, it sure worked out for, oh I don't know, say... Toronto? ]
Q: What is the Jets' biggest weakness?
Consistency and Discipline. If the Jets put their best forward, they can beat any team in the league. But when they start to get lazy and starting spending too much time in the box, they get frustrated and then continue to spend more time in the box for the reminder of the game.
[ Jer: Undisciplined play, you say? Tsk tsk. I'll have you know that we don't take well to such lowbrow hockey around here. Why, Anaheim has quite the reputation as the classiest franchise in the league. ]
Q: How reliable is their goaltending, are they capable of winning a series?
Ondrej Pavelec is the guy between the pipes, right now. That won't change through the series barring an injury or a god awful performance. Jets head coach Paul Maurice has rolled with a tandem at times through the season, but as the regular season died down he ran with the hot goaltender, and the hot hand was the hand of Pavelec. Hutchinson still had a huge impact on the Jets season, he was stellar at times. but Pavelec seems to be the guy. Can Pavelec win a series? Time will tell. But it is worrisome, to say the least. In his career, Pavelec has been a above average goaltender ( at best) and that's scary to have in between the pipes against some of the league's best, on the biggest stage. With the way his play is trending, Pavelec could end up being the difference maker in the series with the Jets. But if he blows it, they have a pretty good backup in Michael Hutchinson to come save the day
[ Jer: Yes, yes, I have fond memories of Hutchenson this season. ]
Q: Biggest Jets storyline heading in to the series
The real question is, how good are the Winnipeg Jets? TSN's Jeff Oneil has the Jets winning the Stanley cup. Meanwhile Nick Kypreos has pinned the Jets as Western Conference finalists. Those are pretty bold predictions for a team with no playoff experience and with only a handful of the players every reaching the postseason. The Jets are a good team but the Ducks are the best in the west, are they good enough? It will be interesting how the Jets respond to their first little bit of action in the playoffs, they could come out flatfooted. If the Jets win the first round they can go anywhere, they really can.
[ Jer: Jeff O'neill also refers to himself as "O-Dog," this is not a man you should be taking seriously. ]
Q: Who has been the Jets best player this year, and why?
Blake Wheeler. This guy comes to the rink everyday and plays his heart out. Finished second on the team, he displayed tremendous heart and integrity.
[ Jer: A Minnesotan, gross. ]
Q: Who could break out this playoff series for the Jets
Look out for Adam Lowry. Lowry is enjoying quite the rookie and he has played an integral part to the Jets success. Lowry could get some tough assignments this series. He has been quite the shutdown for the Jets at their 3rd line centre spot and he has done his job extremely well.
[ Jer: A Missourian, gross. ]
Q: Say something nice about the Anaheim Ducks
They are such a skilled team up front. Boggles my mind at what Perry & Getzlaf can do.
[ Jer: Oh stop, you. *blushes* ]
Q: Say something mean about the Anaheim Ducks
Winnipeg is Teemu's true home, sorry Ducks fans.
[ Jer: I'll have more on this in the next few days, but Selanne would beg to differ. ]
Q: Why do you hate Evander Kane?
I would not say I hate Evander Kane but one of the reasons I dislike him is the way he flaunts his wealth and glamorous posses ions. I just think that he thinks he all that when in reality he has scored 30 goals once ( which is a nice accomplishment) but aside from that he has been baggage to the Jets on and off the ice. Mind you, he suffered injuries but oh my was he ever frustrating. It seemed as though when he departed from Peg City, the team became closer as a whole and the bad aroma had exited the team and the city. I wish him the best in Buffalo and I hope he does not become what Tyler Seguin became after the Bruins.
[ Jer: Oh c'mon, we know the REAL reason Jets fans don't like Kane. ]
Jets @ Ducks
Ducks lead series 1-0
Saturday, Apr 18, 2015, 7:30 PM PDT
Mark Scheifele has some trouble controlling his emotions.