Game Notes G5: Winnipeg Jets @ Edmonton Oilers
By Cam Lewis1 month ago
1. The Edmonton Oilers are back home following an uneven two-game road trip. They earned their first win of the 2023-24 season with a lopsided victory over the Predators in Nashville and then they followed that up with a listless effort against the Flyers in Philadelphia. Which version of the team will show up against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday?
2. The Jets are another team with a 1-3 record off to a disappointing start. Their only win of the season thus far came against the Florida Panthers and they have three losses to Pacific Division opponents, as they were dropped 5-3 by the Calgary Flames, 5-1 by the L.A. Kings, and 5-3 by the Vegas Golden Knights.
3. The strong start that Vegas is having has likely played a role in the heightened panic in Edmonton. The Golden Knights aren’t having any kind of a Stanley Cup hangover as they’re 5-0 through their first couple weeks of the season. They’ll play the Blackhawks in Chicago on Saturday and then they’ll host the Flyers and Blackhawks next week. The Oilers need to start winning some games so they don’t fall too far back of the Golden Knights.
4. The longest winning streak to start a season is 10 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs set the record during the 1993-94 season and then the Buffalo Sabres matched it in 2006-07. It’ll be interesting to see if the Golden Knights can challenge this record. Both the Leafs and Sabres came into those respective seasons following deep playoff runs and rode that momentum early on. The Golden Knights look like a team that won the Stanley Cup and never wants to lose a game again.
5. The Jets have 13 goals for and 19 against through their first four games of the season. They’re even at nine goals for and nine against at even strength but their penalty kill has given up give goals through 17 opportunities. Winnipeg had a penalty kill that was well above average last season at 82.43 percent. Edmonton’s dominant power play will be a tough test for the Jets.
6. Connor Hellebuyck hasn’t been off to a good start since signing a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension with the Jets a couple of weeks ago. The 30-year-old has faced 83 shots through three appearances this season and has allowed 13 goals, good for an .843 save percentage. Hellebuyck has had a mixed bag of results against the Oilers in his career. He has a .899 save percentage against them across 26 games since he entered the league in 2015-16 but also posted a .950 save percentage when the Jets swept the Oilers in the playoffs in 2021.
7. The Oilers are Jets met three times last season. Winnipeg edged out a 2-1 win in Edmonton on New Year’s Eve and the teams split a home-and-home in early March, with the Oilers picking up a 6-3 win at home and the Jets rebounding with a 7-5 win of their own on home ice. That loss in Winnipeg was one of just two times the Oilers were beaten in regulation in 21 games last season following the Mattias Eklholm trade.
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