Jets and Avalanche Set for Closest First-Round Playoff Matchup

The Winnipeg Jets and Colorado Avalanche face off in a highly anticipated first-round playoff series, with the Avalanche favored but the Jets boasting a stifling defense. This clash of NHL titans promises an epic battle for a spot in the next round.

Salman Khan
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Jets and Avalanche Set for Closest First-Round Playoff Matchup

Jets and Avalanche Set for Closest First-Round Playoff Matchup

The Winnipeg Jets and Colorado Avalanche are preparing for their first playoff meeting on Sunday, with only a three-point gap separating them in the regular season standings. This makes it one of the closest first-round matchups in the 2024 NHL playoffs.

The Jets finished the regular season with 110 points, while the Avalanche had 107 points. Winnipeg won the season series against Colorado 3-0-0, outscoring them 17-4 in those games. However, the Avalanche boast a formidable offensive trio in Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and Mikko Rantanen, who are among the league's elite players.

On the other side, the Jets are known for their tight defense, having won the Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals per game. They also have strong goaltending from Connor Hellebuyck and a balanced attack with 13 players scoring double-digit goals.

Key factors that could decide the series include the goaltending matchup between Hellebuyck and the Avalanche's Alexandar Georgiev, who has had an up-and-down season. The Avalanche may turn to backup Justus Annunen if Georgiev struggles. Special teams and coaching could also play a significant role, with the Jets having the edge in both areas.

Why this matters: The Jets-Avalanche series is expected to be one of the most competitive and closely contested matchups in the first round of the NHL playoffs. The outcome could have implications for the playoff picture and the path to the Stanley Cup for both teams.

According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Avalanche have a 51% chance of winning the series, with a 72% chance of covering the puck line. The over/under total of 5.5 goals has a 53% chance of going over. Regardless of the odds, this series is shaping up to be a hard-fought battle between two of the NHL's top teams, with the winner moving on to face the Dallas Stars or Vegas Golden Knights in the next round.

Key Takeaways

  • Winnipeg Jets (110 pts) vs. Colorado Avalanche (107 pts) in close 1st-round playoff matchup.
  • Jets won regular season series 3-0-0, outscoring Avalanche 17-4, but Avalanche have elite offense.
  • Goaltending matchup between Hellebuyck (Jets) and Georgiev/Annunen (Avalanche) could be key.
  • Special teams and coaching may play significant role, with Jets having edge in both areas.
  • Avalanche favored to win series, but outcome could impact path to Stanley Cup for both teams.