Note: The Jets leave for Nashville today to kick start their 2nd Round series with the Predators and courtesy of the Leafs/Bruins series ending last night we now know the full Round 2 series schedule. The Jets won’t be skating before Friday which means all the question marks that remained after Wednesday’s skate won’t be answered until morning skate on Friday in advance of game 1. The Jets are giving their fans an option to watch the away games at Bell MTS Place during this series.
Note II: The Moose played their first AHL playoff road game in the 2.0 era last night in Grand Rapids where they pulled off a massive 6-3 road win over the Griffins in game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead. Pre-game things didn’t look good with news that Mason Appleton was back in Winnipeg for evaluation after being on the receiving end of a check to the head in game 2 and with Buddy Robinson serving the first game of a two-game suspension. However the kids showed they were alright as Eric Comrie made 45 saves in the win with contributions from De Leo (1G 3A), Petan (1G 1A), Niku (1G 1A), Sgarbossa (1G 1A) and Jets prospect Skylar McKenzie in pro debut with the game winner. In addition to the Moose picking up their first playoff road win in the 2.0 era these players all scored their first pro playoff goal: Petan, Niku, McKenzie, De Leo and Lemieux. Game 4 goes tonight in Grand Rapids at 6 pm CT with Manitoba having the chance to close out the series. Puck drop is at 6 pm. Voice of the Moose Mitch Peacock will have the call which you can listen to on TSN 1290 Winnipeg or on Moose Listen Live with the pre-game show starting at 5:45 pm.
The Tennessean: Did Winnipeg take early lead on social media? While the Kings still rule the NHL when it comes to their twitter account (by a country mile) you like to see it ramp up between teams in this manner.
Winnipeg Sun: With Vezina candidates standing tall the battle between the pipes brings intrigue for Jets and Preds. This should prove to be one of the most interesting aspects of the battle between these two teams.
Winnipeg Sun: Jets confident they can handle Predators. Hard to really put the underdog label on a team that finished with the second most points in the entire NHL.
Winnipeg Sun: Subban earns respect for two-way play as Predators D-man not just flash and dash. That entire Nashville defensive core is just scary good (solid analysis I know) but it is true. Ken looks at what makes P.K. tick.
Winnipeg Sun: Laine misses practice, but Jets coach says not to worry. A quick review has him leaving the last two practices early and then skips yesterday’s entirely knowing that the team isn’t skating today. That would seem to merit some worry but as with all injury related discussion this has been chalked up to a malaise of sorts meaning we won’t really know anything until tomorrow’s morning skate.
Winnipeg Free Press: Team doesn’t take any down time while waiting for second round to begin. (Paywall). All work but more importantly an opportunity to heal and with a team that was nursing quite a few injuries this was a blessing in disguise.
Winnipeg Free Press: Hockey career comes full circle for former Predator Matt Hendricks. (Paywall). Perhaps this adds a little extra motivation for the veteran.
The Tennessean: Like Ringo to the Beatles, Mattias Ekholm essential to Predators’ fab four defensemen. Kudos to the musical headline which is what we might expect from a Nashville based paper.
The Tennessean: Predators’ smash car gets new look ahead of series with Winnipeg. The folks in Nashville have a fun tradition each round although that plane isn’t exactly representative of what a Jet looks like.
CBC: Winnipeg Jets 1 of 4 franchises seeking 1st NHL championship. Tim looks at both the Jets/Preds as well as the Golden Knights/Sharks series.
The Athletic: Peter Stastny is just like every other nervous hockey dad watching son Paul on playoff run with Jets. (Paywall). It doesn’t matter that he is a former NHLer who played 977 games between 1980 and 1995 because when his son is on the ice he is the same as any other hockey parent writes Pierre LeBrun.
TSN: How concerning is Laine’s absence from Jets’ practice? Head coach Paul Maurice didn’t seem too concerned about Patrik Laine missing Jets’ practice on Wednesday but That’s Hockey takes a closer look at the situation heading into their series opener against the Predators.
TSN 1290 Winnipeg: Jets are ready for Game 1. Jets play-by-play voice Dennis Beyak joins Andrew Paterson and Rick Ralph on the Afternoon Ride. They discuss the Jets preparations for the second round series vs. Nashvlile, the long delay between round one and round two and how the teams match up.
TSN 1290 Winnipeg: It’s hard to find a weakness on the Jets or Predators. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger joins Andrew Paterson and Rick Ralph on the Afternoon Ride. They preview the Leafs/Bruins Game 7, the round two series between the Winnipeg Jets, possible candidates for the next GM of the Minnesota Wild and the job Kevin Cheveldayoff has done building the Winnipeg Jets.
The Tennessean: The Avalanche made things interesting, but it’s time for the Winnipeg Jets. Adam Vingan, Joe Rexrode and Jon Garcia provide a send off for a worthy adversary in the Colorado Avalanche, and look ahead to the next round against the Winnipeg Jets. The plucky Avs gave the Predators all they could handle at times, but just couldn’t pull off the upset. Now the two best teams in the West will meet for what is sure to be a fun, physical and thrilling series.
The Malik Report: Griffins out-shoot but don’t out-play Moose, face elimination tonight. George provides his insight into last night’s game at Van Andel Arena which saw Manitoba take a 2-1 series lead over Grand Rapids.