Fireworks will be flying in this all Canadian match-up, as the Flames take on the Jets. Calgary and Winnipeg will be heading into the playoffs with high expectations. Only one point separated the two teams, setting up what will be a very even tilt. Get ready for some good old Canadian hockey when these two kick off the playoffs.

Calgary Flames

After being knocked out of the first round last year, the Flames are looking to make a deep run. Calgary has all the tools to do it, but their biggest problem is consistency. Despite finishing third in the Pacific, the Flames could have easily won this division. When on their game the Flames are a tough team to beat. Their mix of skill and grit is hard to stop as they have the capability to switch up their style very quickly, swinging momentum their way.

Calgary’s young stars led the way. Gaudreau finished the season with 40 assists, helping anchor their great power-play. When he wasn’t delivering a big hit, Tkachuk was one of the Flames best offensive weapons, finishing the season with 61 points. David Riitich also burst onto the scene after having himself a career year between the pipes, earning himself All-Star nomination.

Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg had a surprisingly great season. Even after losing many key players in free agency and having a boat load of injuries. Winnipeg had started the season off slow but as it went on they kept up with the elite teams in the west. A lot of the credit goes to coach Paul Maurice. Despite being on the hot seat for much of year, Maurice kept the Jets flying high.

Winnipeg finished the year with five players recording 50 or more points. Forward Kyle Connor had a break-out season scoring 38 goals in 71 games. While in the absence of veteran Byfuglien, Neal Pionk became the surprise anchor in the Jets defense. The Jets MVP however was their goalie, Connor Hellebuyck. His play this season earned him vezina nomination, after going 31-21-5 with six shutouts.

Prediction 

This series is going to have it all. They can both score at will. Both teams have grit that leads to some high octane hockey. I fully expect this series to go the distance and I’m sure we will be seeing a lot of overtime hockey. My prediction is that the Jets will outlast the Flames and become the dark horse team in the west.