We can say it until our faces turn blue — the NHL’s playoff system is asinine. The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets finished first and second in the league and yet here they are, facing each other in Round 2.
Sure, this is going to be an awesome series between two monster squads, but it feels a little bit cheapened that the winner of this series isn’t getting its ticket punched to the Stanley Cup Final.
I guess we should just enjoy the hockey — and hopefully profit from it.
Winnipeg Jets (+120) vs. Nashville Predators (-140)
Game 1: Winnipeg @ Nashville, 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN
Game 2: Winnipeg @ Nashville, 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN
Game 3: Nashville @ Winnipeg, 8 p.m. ET, CNBC
Game 4: Nashville @ Winnipeg, 9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN
Game 5: Winnipeg @ Nashville, TBD
Game 6: Nashville @ Winnipeg, TBD
Game 7: Winnipeg @ Nashville, TBD
Injuries: Winnipeg star Patrik Laine was conspicuously absent from practice on Thursday, but head coach Paul Maurice downplayed it. The Jets could be without middle-six forward Mathieu Perreault for at least the beginning of the series. Nashville is set to be without Yannick Weber, although he was practicing during the Avalanche series. — Stuckey
Head-to-Head: Nashville won the season series 3-1-1. While a lot of the pre-series talk will focus on the two Vezina-worthy goalies, offense dominated the regular-season meetings. The teams combined to score 42 goals in five games (8.4 average), with four of the contests featuring at least eight total goals. — Stuckey