With three games in the books in the Minnesota and Winnipeg series, my thoughts have worked out just the way I thought they might going in because of the numbers.
The Jets led the NHL with 32 home wins this season, while the Wild had the fewest home losses in hockey with only six. Winnipeg took care of their business at home and Minnesota turned the tables in Game 3 on home ice and blasted the Jets 6-2.
What are series storylines and will the home ice matter the rest of the series? Let’s delve into it.
Winnipeg was the favorite in the first three games and as noted, they won the first two at home before falling.
The Jets thoroughly controlled the puck the first two contests and out-shot Minnesota by the large margin of 84-37. Not unexpectedly, the Wild did a much better job in Game 3 and only trailed in attempts on net 31-29.
Winnipeg is the more physical team and that proved true in their building having a 69-52 edge in the ‘hitting’ stat. But Minnesota turned into the aggressor back home and had a 26-19 margin before their screaming fans.
This will be worth watching moving forward, as the Wild have a 69-53 edge in winning face-offs the past two games after losing that battle in the opener 31-26. Winning face-offs is important because if you gain control in the offensive zone, you can initiate your offense and if you have the same success in the other end of the rink, that helps prevent scoring opportunities.