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Season preview: Winnipeg Jets

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Season preview: Winnipeg Jets

To get you ready for the 2015-16 season, we will be previewing all 30 NHL in 30 days, division by division. Check the bottom of the page for a schedule of each preview.

Today’s team: Winnipeg Jets

2014-15 record: 43-26-13, 5th in the Central

How they finished: Lost in 4 games to Anaheim in the Western Conference Quarterfinals

Coach: Paul Maurice (3rd season)

Notable additions: RW Matt Fraser, C Alex Burmistrov

Notable subtractions: RW Michael Frolik, RW Lee Stempniak, C Jim Slater

RELATED: Caps have two of the 50 top NHL goalie prospects

Schedule against the Capitals: Wed. Nov. 25 at Washington, Sat. Dec. 5 at Winnipeg

Outlook: What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. That's what seems to be going on on Winnipeg after the team was swept in the first round of the playoffs and made no moves in the offseason to get better.

There are some teams out there bursting with young talent. Those teams don't have to do much in the offseason, they simply need to wait for their players to develop into young stars. That's not the case with the Jets. Though there are a few young players who can develop into contributors--Adam Lowry (22), Mark Scheifele (22)--there's not a lot to build around offensively on this roster for this season. The Jets will not look to their young corps of budding superstars this season capable of leading the Jets for years to come. Instead, they will turn to a group of players who are in their prime and have led the Jets to the middle of the pack.

Players like Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien are good pieces to have, but not anything to build on. Goalie Ondrej Pavelec has made a career out of playing dominant in net for 10 games and then looking like a backup the next 10. And yet, the Jets did almost nothing other than watching Michael Frolik sign with Calgary. 

Expectations: Last season was a success because they made the playoffs for the first time since moving to Winnipeg, but the playoffs are the ceiling for this roster and they did not even win a single game last year in the first round. They could easily fail to reach the postseason this year after failing to make themselves any better at all.

MORE CAPS: Caps, Wiz and Mystics to utilize virtual reality tech

See more team previews:

Pacific Division 
Anaheim Ducks 
Arizona Coyotes 
Calgary Flames 
Edmonton Oilers 
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks 
Vancouver Canucks

Central Division 
Chicago Blackhawks 
Colorado Avalanche
Dallas Stars
Minnesota Wild
Nashville Predators 
St. Louis

Atlantic Division 
Boston Bruins 8/15 
Buffalo Sabres 8/16 
Detroit Red Wings 8/17 
Florida Panthers 8/18 
Montreal Canadiens 8/19 
Ottawa Senators 8/20
Tampa Bay Lightning 8/21 
Toronto Maple Leafs 8/22

Metropolitan Division 
Carolina Hurricanes 8/23 
Columbus Blue Jackets 8/24 
New Jersey Devils 8/25 
New York Islanders 8/26 
New York Rangers 8/27 
Philadelphia Flyers 8/28 
Pittsburgh Penguins 8/29 
Washington Capitals 8/30

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Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 

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Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

The odds have never gone the way of the Washington Capitals.

After years of being the common pick to finally break through and win the Stanley Cup, this was most definitely not the year.

Yet, here we are with the Capitals as one of the final two teams standing.

For their upcoming Stanley Cup Final, the Caps are the underdogs against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.  The opening line from OddsShark has the Golden Knights as -135 money line favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Capitals were listed as +115 underdogs.

Vegas (the betting entity, not the team) has not exactly been the most reliable this year though. After all, the Golden Knights were 100/1 odds to win the whole thing. Now they are four games away.

In their past two series, Washington was not the favorites. The Capitals have not been favorites since the First Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

For years in the Alex Ovechkin era, they have been the favorites to not only go on to play for the Stanley Cup but winning it.

In 2018 they started the season tied for the fifth best odds to win the Cup (14/1), one of their lowest opening marks in the past decade. For the full perspective, Washington was tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs and behind the Dallas Stars at the start of the season.

Without question this underdog role has fit them quite well, they shouldn’t want anything to change heading into the biggest postseason series in 20 years for Washington D.C.

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