The Minnesota Wild didn’t just lose to the Winnipeg Jets; they were summarily beaten to a pulp. Prior to the series, I suggested the Jets would be too much for the Wild and win in 5 games. Let’s just say I’m not at all happy that my prediction came true. Minnesota, wasn’t allowed to do anything on the ice in every game aside from a few minutes in the second period of Game 3. Game 5 may have been a slaughter, but the series wasn’t really close.
It’s astonishing to see the Wild get beaten so handily at 5-on-5. At least prior to last season, the Wild’s strength came at even strength. Often controlling play and zone time, that was not the case last season. Instead, last year’s team would lose the Corsi battle, but dominate in scoring chances for. That changed after the Martin Hanzal trade as the Wild became 50+ percentage team in shot attempts the final month of the season and controlled the puck well against the Blues.
Against the Jets, that never happened. The Wild only once lead in shot attempts in the series and that was in Game 5, when the score got way out of hand in Winnipeg’s favor. Even with Game 5 counting towards the total, the Wild were 41.04 percent in Shot Attempts%. In games that mattered and could still swing the momentum? Minnesota was a putrid 37.83%. No team can withstand that lack off offense. In five games, the Wild only mustered 126 shots on goal. The Jets hurtled roughly that many shots through three games.
But the shots are only half the story. Like I mentioned above, the Wild became a team that would lose the Corsi battle, but would dominate in getting scoring chances. Entering the series, the Wild were the 15th-best team in the league for scoring chances for percentage, but were above 50 percent. The Jets were the 5th ranked team in the same category and proved that throughout the series, by getting nearly 50 more scoring chances than the Wild in the series. At 5v5, that number percentage dropped from 41 percent in all situations to 38.6 percent. Needless to say, Minnesota was downright atrocious in the situation of the game that happens most frequently.
It’s a shame the Wild wasted such a good series by Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk posted his best save percentage in the playoffs with .930 through the first four games. He faulted big time in Game 5 by giving up four goals on ten shots in 12 minutes of play. The Wild defense may have hung him out to dry, but, the goal 31 seconds in killed any and all chance Minnesota would have been able to muster. This series was not lost because of Dubnyk, to be sure. In the previous four games, when the Wild had an ability make something, you know, happen he was everything you needed in a goaltender. But your margin of error is so incredibly slim when the team in front of you generates so little offense, and to top it off, the Vezina Trophy finalist in the opposite nets plays shutout hockey for 121 minutes.
The Jets were/are the 2nd best team in the league and in five games against the Wild, they proved just that by beating the Wild in all phases of the game.
Here is a look at the stat totals from the series:
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