Even if they’re not the defending division champs, the Jets are now the hunted in a division full of contenders. They took out the Predators in seven games in a series where each team respectively laid it all out there. The Jets came out on top against an elite Predators team that returns the same team once again this year. Without a regular season game to be played, the Jets get the slight nod over the Predators.
The Jets have a 2018 Vezina finalist in Connor Hellebuyck that makes them already tough to score on. That alone would make them a terror to go up against, but they couple that with a loaded scoring attack. Their 273 goals last season put them second behind Tampa Bay for tops in the NHL. They return the same scoring threats that got them that finish, led by Patrik Laine‘s 44 goals. Then you add in Blake Wheeler and they’re stacked group of centers and you’ve got yourself a top Stanley Cup contender.
It will come down to the Predators and the Jets most likely for the division, with the exception of any major injuries. There are outliers, like St.Louis, but it comes down to two teams. It’s a rivalry that will pick up more steam in the upcoming season. The Jets and Predators had productive offseason, but the Jets have the upper hand until the Predators can exorcise their demons from the last meeting.