NHL.com goes behind the numbers to identify key statistics for each of the best eight streaks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Today, a glimpse of the meeting between the Calgary Flames and the Winnipeg Jets.
Perhaps the most important goalkeeper for the Winnipeg Jets this season is the goalkeeper Connor Hellebuyck, who finished second in wins (31) behind Andrei Vasilevskiy Tampa Bay Lightning (35). Hellebuyck’s overall winning streak was even more impressive since the Winnipeg defenseman was without Dustin Byfuglien (contract completed), Jacob Trouba (traded to the New York Rangers), Ben chiarot (signed with the Montreal Canadiens) and Tyler myers (signed with the Vancouver Canucks), who were each a regular in the Winnipeg top four last season. Despite turnover, Hellebuyck led the NHL with six shutouts and his .922 save percentage was the seventh among goaltenders to play at least 20 games. Hellebuyck also excelled at equal strength, where his .927 save percentage was seventh among goalies by the same parameters. Hellebuyck’s performances this season are also illustrated by his 38 NHL starts with at least a .900 save percentage. Will he be able to replicate this success against the Calgary Flames? It could depend on the Calgary attack Johnny Gaudreau and center Sean Monahan, who have accumulated 75 points less this season (106; 40 goals, 76 assists) than in 2018-2019 (181; 70 goals, 111 assists), have regained their scoring touch.
Video: VGK @ WPG: Hellebuyck thwarts Vegas to win the shutout
The Jets may be concerned about their shot-firing differential (minus-190), which ranked 21st in the League compared to that of the Flames, who were 15th (plus-43). This suggests that Winnipeg is heavily tempted by 5v5 opponents, which makes Hellebuyck do his best in every game. The Jets tied for seventh with the Colorado Avalanche and the Chicago Blackhawks in victories when they were overtaken by opponents (21). Winnipeg may have grown accustomed to this style of play and is comfortable with giving up penalties and relying on Hellebuyck. Or it could mean that the bubble will eventually burst, giving the Flames the advantage here.
Another defensive concern for the Jets is their penalty spot, which ranked 22nd in the NHL (77.6%) this season compared to Calgary, who was tied for 8th with the Chicago Blackhawks and Penguins Pittsburgh (82.1%). The Flames also have a slight power play advantage (21.2%, 12th) compared to Winnipeg (20.5%, 15th). An area that could affect Calgary during the penalty kick is dependent on its goalkeeper. David Rittich, who started 48 games this season, had a .882 save percentage against the opposing team’s power play; Cam Talbot started 26 games with a slightly better save percentage of 888 in the same situation. If the Flames want to further strengthen this area, they could consider starting Talbot, whose save percentage on power play was tied for ninth in the League with Alexandar Georgiev New York Rangers, Jaroslav Halak Boston Bruins and Darcy Kuemper Arizona Coyotes.
Video: CGY @ CBJ: Rittich makes 43 stops in a shutout
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