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Jets-Blues series living up to expectations

Copp: "I would say it's as tight (as I expected) and it feels like more than just a First Round matchup."

by Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV / Winnipeg Jets

WINNIPEG - With the way Game 5 ended on Thursday night, the Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues series became one of the more unique matchups in NHL history.

The Blues won 3-2 on a late goal from Jayden Schwartz and Jets fans left Bell MTS Place with another empty feeling. Winnipeg and St. Louis are now the fourth best-of-seven series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history in which the road team won each of the first five games. The others: the 1951 Semifinals (MTL-DET), 1995 Conference Finals (NJD-PHI) and 2004 Conference Finals (CGY-SJS). A best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series has never featured the road team winning each of the first six games.

Those who have watched this series have tried to figure out how each night will go, but the Jets are not surprised with how things have transpired.

"I would say it's as tight (as I expected) and it feels like more than just a First Round matchup," said Andrew Copp, who has four assists in the series.

"Both teams are pretty tight checking and try and concentrate on the defence as much as possible with a lot of guys who can put the puck in the net. It's going to be another tight one tomorrow night for sure."

Video: PRACTICE | Andrew Copp

On top of the failure of the home team to get things done having the lead hasn't exactly been a recipe for success either. Each game in the Jets-Blues series has featured the victor overcoming a deficit to win. Only 10 other series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history have featured comeback wins in each of the first five or more games, including four in the last decade: the 2009 Conference Semifinals (PIT-WSH; 6 GP), 2012 Conference Quarterfinals (PHI-PIT; 5 GP), 2012 Conference Semifinals (NJD-PHI; 5 GP) and 2014 First Round (PIT-CBJ; 5 GP).

 "I think going into it we knew there was going to be a lot of one-goal games. They were one of the best, I think they were the second best team in the NHL in the second half of the year behind Tampa," said Jacob Trouba.

 "We knew were going to get a good game, a good series, and that's where we are."

Video: PRACTICE | Jacob Trouba 

In last year's epic seven-game series with the Nashville Predators Paul Maurice described it a high event series. This series against the Blues has still been entertaining, but in a different way.

 "What you're not seeing is a lot of "C" chances. You don't count the knucklers to the net, but not even with that there's not a lot," said Maurice.

 "Their guy in on a breakaway, Hayes in on a breakaway, not 10 of them. So high end chances, low volume. So you're left with that one play. The road and the home games have in so many ways looked the same. Your puck goes in on the inside of the post and theirs doesn't, (so) you win two in there (St. Louis). 

 "It's just so tight, so even. It's just a little edge in each game that puts you over the top."

Video: PRACTICE | Paul Maurice 

Winnipeg has outscored St. Louis 14-13 and have outshot the Blues 153-148 in the first five games.


 Nikolaj Ehlers blocked a shot in the third period and was visibly hurt and didn't return to the game. Maurice said he's fine and while it's likely he won't take the morning skate in St. Louis Ehlers is probable for Game 6 on Saturday.

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