Statistics aren’t everything, and no one will argue with you on that. However, statistics can show trends and maybe even bring to light areas that can be exploited. I’ve put together a number of statistics from a variety of sources to show how the Minnesota Wild and Winnipeg Jets stack up against each other.
At first glance, the Wild rank in the middle of the pack in many categories. The Jets? They had a very, very good season, often ranking in the top 5-10 range in a lot of the categories, and many times ahead of Minnesota. In nine of the 12 key offensive stats, the Jets hold the edge over the Wild. The only offensive stats that the Wild best Winnipeg are in Expected Goals For percentage (xGF%), High Danger Shot Attempts percentage (HDCF%), and High Danger Goals For percentage (HDGF%).
Special teams are always a factor in deciding a playoff series. This series won’t be any different. The Jets were very good on both the power play and the penalty kill. It helps when Winnipeg did made a drastic change to way they approach the game. Often among the highest teams last few seasons in penalty minutes and taking penalties, Jets took just 289 minors this season. Considering they took the most minors just three seasons ago with 374, that is a huge change. That’s the area that I think the Jets could revert as the emotions and tension ramps up in the playoffs. Dustin Byfuglien is the team leader in penalty minutes, and his penalties can often comes at the worst moments of the game. Can a late game power play in a tie game, or even with the Wild trailing by a goal, allow Minnesota to tie or take the lead to steal a game? That will have to depend on the Wild’s 17th ranked power play (20.4%) and making sure they can take advantage.
There are many categories in which the Jets rank very well. However, they aren’t the best in the league in any. Minnesota is the best team in xGF%, xGA, and Giveaways per 60 minutes. The Wild aren’t expected to be stingy defensively and they are the best team at taking care of the puck. This trend will be of utmost importance against the Jets and that offense.
The games are played on the ice and the in the playoffs, these stats, trends, and tendencies can change just like that. They don’t matter much anymore and the focus is to just win the game. However, it is interesting to see what the two squads are good at, and where the deficiencies are.
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