The Winnipeg Jets stole the series’ first game with a 5-1 victory at T-Mobile Arena. Rick Bowness praised his team, stating they needed at least one win in Nevada. The victory came in the very first game of the series, and Winnipeg might have a slight advantage from now.
Winnipeg wanted to take the lead more, as they outshot the Vegas Golden Knights 31-17. The Canadian team took a two-goal lead early in the second period, and Vegas could not find an answer.
Takeaways from the first game of the Golden Knights-Jets series.
The top performer
It has to be Blake Wheeler. The former Jets captain showed authentic leadership, scoring once and assisting twice. He is leading this series in points through one game, although he played just 12 minutes and 27 seconds.
Connor Hellebuyck would be my second choice, as he posted a .941 save percentage, but again, with just 17 shots, he wasn’t tested that much.
The biggest disappointment
Laurent Brossoit. He faced almost twice as many shots as the Jets goalie, but an .867 save percentage is not enough if you were given the trust over Jonathan Quick.
We would see both goalies in the series, but Brossoit set the bar so low that Quick may be taking over number one goalie responsibilities for the rest of the series.
The biggest surprise
In the preview, I mentioned Vegas should be easy on Stone’s return. Bruce Cassidy decided to do the exact opposite. Stone played 21:28, the most among both teams’ forwards. This was also the second-most minutes played for Vegas in the game, just behind Alex Pietrangelo’s 23:25.
I see Vegas depending on Stone, but this move doesn’t feel right. Although playing the most minutes by a forward, he had just two shot attempts, with nine Vegas players playing less and having more shot attempts.
The hero category might not be permanent, but it feels right in the first game. Jets forward Morgan Barron took a Brossoit skate into the face during a scramble in the first period. He later came back with 75 stitches on his face.
Game Two in the Golden Knights-Jets series will be on Thursday at 10:00 PM in Vegas on TBS.