WINNIPEG - As far as playoff performances go, Mark Scheifele has a tough one to follow up on in 2019.
Almost a year ago to this day, Scheifele scored his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal in the second period of the opening game of the Winnipeg Jets series against Minnesota, sending the whiteout into a frenzy.
Video: MIN@WPG, Gm1: Scheifele scores PPG on one-timer
He would add 13 more and set an NHL record for most playoff road goals with 11 during the Jets' memorable run to the Western Conference Final last spring.
Scheifele will have a tough challenge scoring this year facing arguably the league's hottest goaltenders in Jordan Binnington and the St. Louis Blues in the first round. Binnington comes in with a 1.89 goals against average and is looked upon as a candidate for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.
While the rest of the Jets are trying to learn about Binnington's tendencies, Scheifele has a leg up on them.
"I actually know him pretty well, played against him in junior," said Scheifele who played with Barrie against Binnington's Owen Sound team.
"We are through the same agency and we have some mutual friends. He's a good guy, he's a fun living kid. It's been cool to see a guy like that come in and stake his claim playing as well as he has. Hopefully we can figure him out this series, he's a good goaltender but there are no friends out there now."
Video: PREGAME | Mark Scheifele
Binnington has played postseason hockey before appearing in 13 games at the pro level between the ECHL and AHL. The Blues goaltenders lack of NHL playoff experience is not something Scheifele is focused on.
"At the end of the day that's such a small thing. We just want to play our game," said Scheifele.
"No matter who the goalie is we are playing against we are going to play our game. Do what we can to create chances and capitalize when we get those chances. That's the biggest focus."
Scheifele and the Jets have survived a season with high expectations, a highly competitive race for the Division title all while going long stretches without key players like Dustin Byfuglien and Josh Morrissey.
With 15 fewer points than a season ago, the Jets ended up in second place and once again have home ice and last year's playoff experience to work off of.
"You go through so many ups and downs. I think the biggest thing is that you learn to deal with that adversity," said Scheifele.
"You know how to deal with wins and losses. No matter what it is the good or the bad you figure out how to deal with them. At the end of the day it's a different animal every year and we got to be prepared for everything."