Analysis: Winnipeg Jets will look to reverse history in Round Two

I was on a mission Sunday. I wanted to find some evidence that would tilt the upcoming North Division Final squarely in Winnipeg’s corner going into special 10th Anniversary Day for the franchise on Monday.

But all I came up with was running the risk of being the porcupine at the balloon party.

Let me explain.

Since the NHL went to a best-of-seven playoff format for all rounds in 1986-87, there have been 10 instances where a team that swept a series met an opponent coming off a seven-game marathon, in the next round.

That’s exactly the circumstance the Jets will find themselves in against either the Leafs or the Habs on Wednesday night.

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But in six of those 10 times, the team that went the distance has won that matchup — including the last five in a row.

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Here are the facts:

  • Boston and Carolina versus Columbus and the Islanders respectively in the second round in 2019
  • Carolina 10 years earlier in a second-round upset of Boston — Paul Maurice could tell you all about that one
  • New Jersey in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final versus Anaheim
  • Colorado versus St. Louis in the 2001 Western Conference Final
  • Previous to that, Toronto did it as well in 1993, when the Buds came off a seven-game victory over Detroit and knocked off a well-rested St. Louis team in another seven-game thriller that saw Games 1 and 2 both decided in double overtime

So the Jets will definitely try to snap that streak. A Game One win Wednesday Night would go a long way toward achieving that. In those 10 “sweep vs. deep” scenarios, the winner of the series opener is 8-2.

The message should be pretty clear when the puck drops two days from now, be that at Bell MTS Place or ScotiaBank Arena.

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Series since 1986-87 between teams coming sweeps vs. opponents coming off seven-game grinds: 

  • 1987 Western Conference Final: Edmonton defeats Detroit 4-1 (Advantage Sweep)
  • 1990 Western Conference Final: Edmonton defeats Chicago 4-2 (Advantage Sweep)
  • 1993 Second Round: Toronto defeats St. Louis 4-3 (Advantage Deep)
  • 1993 Eastern Conference Final: Montreal defeats NY Islanders 4-1 (Advantage Sweep)
  • 1999 Second Round: Dallas defeats St. Louis 4-2 (Advantage Sweep)
  • 2001 Western Conference Final: Colorado defeats St. Louis 4-1 (Advantage Deep)
  • 2003 Stanley Cup Final: New Jersey defeats Anaheim 4-3 (Advantage Deep)
  • 2009 Second Round: Carolina defeats Boston 4-3 (Advantage Deep)
  • 2019 Second Round: Boston defeats Columbus 4-2 (Advantage Deep)
  • 2019 Second Round: Carolina defeats NY Islanders 4-0 (Advantage Deep)
Click to play video: 'Jets sweep Oilers'
Jets sweep Oilers

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