Raise your hand if you expected the Jets to lead the Oilers 2-0 in their First Round series. Keep it raised if you expected the Jets to keep Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl pointless through the first two games of this series.
Paul Stastny scored the only goal of Game 2, winning it 1-0 as the Jets beat the Oilers early in OT. Seeing where the Stastny OT goal happened will probably leave Mike Smith furious, especially since that was the only goal of Jets – Oilers Game 2 in a goalie duel with Connor Hellebuyck.
McDavid, Draisaitl blanked again; Jets beat Oilers in Game 2
Look, it would be wrong to bash the efforts of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, especially in Game 2.
McDavid fired five shots on goal. Leon Draisaitl was right behind him with four SOG, was strong on draws, and played more than 30 minutes. It has to be frustrating, but … that’s playoff hockey, right?
No doubt, Connor Hellebuyck has been lights-out in this Jets – Oilers series. So far, he’s only allowed a Jesse Puljujarvi goal, which occurred 8:24 into the second period of Game 1.
(Don’t fault Puljujarvi’s efforts, either. He fired five SOG himself in this one.)
For some, McDavid’s playoff struggles is a catalyst to debate officiating.
Here are the NHL's Top 20 scorers this season, and where they rank in penalties drawn per hour. This doesn't look like a team that gives their stars preferential treatment – it looks like a league that punishes its stars and lets their lesser opponents drag them down. pic.twitter.com/mBNuSxoAse
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) May 22, 2021
Certainly, there have been times when it was likely grating to see Winnipeg get away with some obstruction. Then again, those things happen all the time to McDavid — he’s just normally able to shrug it all off, and score anyway.
Just like that, Jets up 2-0 in the series
The Oilers received three power-play opportunities in Game 2, and simply couldn’t score against Hellebuyck and the Jets. Winnipeg hasn’t been known for great defense, but they’ve performed admirably. (Edmonton won the high-danger chances battle, but not outrageously, generating a 14-10 edge at even-strength.)
While that OTGWG will sting Smith, it’s not like he’s been a sieve. He’s allowed three goals through two games in this series, with two other Jets goals being empty-netters. If you told Edmonton that Smith would allow three goals over the first two playoff games, they might have asked for some celebratory beverages.
All of a sudden, the Jets are up 2-0 in this series, and the Oilers keep searching for answers (and offense) after Game 2. Wow.
JETS – OILERS FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF SERIES SCHEDULE
Game 1: Jets 4, Oilers 1
Game 2: Jets 1, Oilers 0 (OT)
Sunday, May 23: Oilers at Jets, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Monday, May 24: Oilers at Jets, 9:45 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
*Wednesday, May 26: Jets at Oilers TBD
*Friday, May 28: Oilers at Jets TBD
*Sunday, May 30: Jets at Oilers TBD