9 down, 7 to go; led by Big Buff, the Jets overpower Vegas to take a 1-0 series lead. By Chuck Duboff

Helly

© Chuck Duboff

“It’s incredible. Did you enjoy yourself? It was awesome. Our crowd is awesome,” Hellebuyck said.   “They were so loud and they helped us carry so much momentum. They are a big factor in this.”

For all those concerned about the quick turn around the Jets faced after the Nashville series…ho hum…just another great effort by the boys from ‘peg city.

It was over quickly.  The Jets came out of the gates flying.  Just a minute into the game, Scheifele, a man possessed, drove the puck down the ice, made a great drop pass to Buff, who ripped home a one timer…and boom…the Jets were off and flying.

Goal

You want to take a penalty against the Jets.  Good luck with that.  Pick your poison:  Stastny, Wheeler, Buff, Scheif and Laine…on the first power play, Vegas was over guarding Scheif…Laine saw this, snuck in behind and Wheels made the perfect pass to the kid and boom…it’s 2-0.

It really looked like the Jets were toying with the Knights.   It looked like a great team playing against an expansion team.  Vegas had no answer for Big Buff.  He is playing great hockey right now…scoring, defending and hitting…there’s nothing the big man can’t do when he puts his mind to it.  Right now it looks like Buff can taste his second Stanley Cup and is taking over games.

Fleury

Mark Scheifele…superstar.  With 12 goals now after just one game of the third round, Scheif is only 3 back of Syd Crosby for goals in a playoff year since the year 2000.   All time the record is 19 goals in a playoff season, which was set by  Reggie Leach.  Right now Scheif is playing like the elite player he has worked his whole life to become.  He’s a force out there with the puck and seems to relish unloading punishing body checks.

I was concerned that the Jets would not be focused on game 1 after the high they must have felt beating Nashville.  Yet all the players were commenting after the game what a great job the coaching staff did in preparing them for Game 1.  They followed their mantra which carried them through the whole season.  Enjoy the win for a few minutes, put it behind you and get focused for the next game.

One wonders how much the energy of a raucous crowd fills the emotional tank of the players.  Bell MTS Centre just keeps getting louder and louder with each game.  It’s gotta be a rush for the players to come out to that kind of support.  They know what they have to do …play their game…don’t worry about anything else, just play Winnipeg Jets hockey.  Whether it’s outstanding play by Jacob Trouba, great hustle by Nic Ehlers, shot blocking by Brandon Tanev, great passes by Wheels or steady goaltending by Conner Helleybuck, these Jets know exactly what they have to do to win.

Play Winnipeg Jets hockey…it’s that simple.

9 down…and just…7 to go boys!!

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