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Handshake Line: Brooms on a Jet

My post is a little more stats-themed and a little less me complimenting people, because it's my gimmick.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets legitimately worried me more than any other potential first round matchup. The Anaheim Ducks had posted respectable possession numbers and, scarily, poorer goaltending numbers since the trade deadline. The team was playing well but had some questions in net. Meanwhile, the Jets had been pretty strong in this respect all year and were receiving blazing hot goaltending down the stretch.

On paper, this was going to be a closely played, physical round from two heavy teams. In reality, each game was tightly contested, very physical, but ultimately won by Anaheim. The reality matched the paper match well, only Winnipeg never won any games. There were several factors why, but that's neither here nor there. This is enough filler.

These handshake lines posts are traditionally all complimentary and the like, but that's one-note. There's six of those posts already if you want to read them. They are good, so you should! I'm just going to call out the possession players, both good and bad, on the Jets. It doesn't mean anything really, but it is more informative than me just saying "and then THIS guy, yeah he was real special and will be a star."

Surprisingly to me, Michael Frolik was the Jets best possession player. Unfortunately for Winnipeg, he registered zeros across the board. The aim of strong possession is still points production, after all. Andrew Ladd, Mathieu Perreault, and Bryan Little were all positive players by raw counts, and it is fair to say all gave the Ducks fits throughout. One of the problems here is that the three players only registered six points altogether, only two of them goals. That left a lot of slack to pick up from the rest of the roster.

The on ice PDO of the four guys above was hilariously low. Had the series extended by any degree, I wonder if the strong forward-pushing play by these four would have resulted in more than just six points. To give this a bit more relation, the top four possession players on the Ducks - Francois Beauchemin, Hampus Lindholm, Andrew Cogliano, and Simon Despres - had 11 points between them (although only one was an actual goal scored). Beauchemin, Lindholm, and Despres all had below-average on ice PDO, while Cogliano was understandably above level.

Drew Stafford, Mark Stuart, Chris Thorburn, and Jim Slater had the worst possession play of any Winnipeg player. Despite that, Stafford and Stuart each had two points, so at least they contributed something to the Jets cause. Again by comparison, the four worst Ducks players (Clayton Stoner, Sami Vatanen, Tomas Fleischmann, and Patrick Maroon ) had nine points between them.

By looking at the edges of the play in this series, it becomes more obvious that Anaheim simply did more with the possession time it earned than Winnipeg. Coupled with stronger goaltending throughout the series, and the Ducks are the deserving victors here. While I don't think the Jets have any reason to hang its head, as each game was very close and well played, there's definite room for improvement in the coming season - and this team is clearly already very good.