Being up 3-1 in a seven-game series can make a team full of confidence. Especially, coming off back-to-back road wins in Winnipeg. The stage is set for the home team to wrap up the series on Thursday night and advance to the second round. But it can’t be that easy.
The message for us is we haven’t won anything yet. You need to win four, right? -Bruce Cassidy
Clearly, the Golden Knights are feeling good about their position and history shows that they should be. In NHL history, only 31 teams have blown a series up 3-1, while 299 went on to win the round.
Five times in Vegas history, the team has been up 3-1 and won 4 out of the 5 playoff series. Twice the organization sealed the deal in Game 5 and the other two series went the distance in Vegas’ favor. Overall, it’s been highly difficult for opponents to overcome a tw0-game series deficit to the Golden Knights. But the Jets don’t seem too worried about the past.
At this point, you just take it one game at a time. We don’t need three, we need one and we’ll go from there. A bounce here, a bounce there and things can go well. I think we have the character in our room to do something special and to do something great. And like we said, we’re looking for one game. We need one game and we’ll move on to the next one and we’ll prepare the same way… We’re inches away from really flipping the script on this. -Connor Hellebuyck, Jets goalie
It hasn’t been a walk in the park for Hellebuyck throughout the first four games of the series. He’s allowing more goals per game, making fewer saves, and has recorded only one quality start in the postseason. The Golden Knights have gotten to the Jets goaltender early and often, but they haven’t broken his or his teammates’ confidence.
We haven’t had good luck so far. We’ve been playing pretty good though, despite all of our adversity. Now, we have to make sure our heads are right and know we’re in for the grind and we’re not out yet. It’s a bounce here, a bounce there. And we’re not asking for a ton, we’re asking for one a game. That’s all we need. We haven’t gotten it yet, and you’d imagine it would show itself at some point. -Hellebuyck
You’ll notice the excuses and reverse jinx attempts in Hellebuyck’s comments but it’s on par with what Rick Bowness and Bruce Cassidy have stated all series.
I basically read this quote word for word to Cassidy and asked him if he thinks his team is getting the better of it, especially at even strength…
A man normally of many words answering questions said "I do. Yes, I do." And left it at that. https://t.co/vSwGe36SEa
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) April 25, 2023
Regardless of what Bowness and Hellebuyck consider to be luck or not, there is reason for confidence in the visitor’s locker room. The Jets have one win this series and it came on the road in Game 1. Winnipeg is hoping to relive that magic on Thursday night. The road team trend is alive and well in this year’s playoffs. Just this series alone, the visiting team won three out of the four games. Overall, the road teams are an astounding 21-12 in the first round. If there’s something motivational to write on the visitor’s whiteboard, it’s that road record.
You want to throw league stats at me? I don’t want to talk about that at all. What I’ll say is we have a lot of character. We’ve had a lot of adversity in our room.-Hellebuyck
No matter how Game 5 goes, neither team can blame their lack of confidence. Now, if both want to blame home-ice disadvantages or puck luck then so be it. It’s the playoffs.