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2021 NORTH DIVISION PLAYOFF GAME THREAD: Game 1 Edmonton Oilers vs. Winnipeg Jets

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Hello out there. We’re on the air.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (0-0)

Winnipeg Jets (0-0)

19 May 2021

7 PM MST

Rogers Place

TV: CBC, Sportsnet

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Arctic Ice Hockey

The Oilers open round one of their playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets in Edmonton. The Jets struggled in their final month of the season and are missing a couple of key pieces in tonight’s game. The Oilers will look to take advantage early and often. Let’s get right to it.

THREE THINGS TO LOOK FOR

  1. The Oilers need to come out looking like the team that defeated the Jets seven out of nine times this season. If Winnipeg scores first, or is able to hang around and cause the Oilers to look like they’re simply going through the motions against a club that’s missing two top six forwards due to injury, it’s going to reflect poorly.
  2. Mike Smith had himself a season for the Oilers. He’s going to now need to have a playoff series for the Oilers. Smith had a great season that saw him finish with a .923 save percentage after two so-so campaigns. He’s outplayed Mikko Koskinen this season, and he’ll need to make it happen tonight against the Jets in Game 1.
  3. GOALIE DAYS: I think the OIlers have a good chance to end this series in five games if they can stick to what works, let McDavid be McDavid and if they can get decent goaltending from Mike Smith. One thing that could toss a wrench in that theory is if Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck gets hot. The Jets goalie turns 28 years of age today. If he can keep the Jets in this one and help steal a game in Edmonton, the pressure will be enormous for the Oilers in game 2.

Game one begins...now.