It had been a long, long time since Winnipeg has hosted an Stanley Cup playoff game. The fan base has been patient. We do not mind waiting a little while longer for our first win.
Here we lament the Winnipeg Jets end of a season, but also celebrate the season it was.
There were many pundits who wrote off the Jets before the season started. Jets were known to have struggles in net, and a roster filled out mostly with underrated players didn’t make for a sexy pick when compared with other clubs carrying elite All Stars.
The Jets proved the talking heads wrong this season. They performed as one of the league’s top teams at 5-on-5. Rookie Michael Hutchinson started off the season as the top goaltender in the NHL, and Ondrej Pavelec finished off the season as one of the best.
The Jets struggled with injuries at one point, losing five of their six starting defenders. Yet they kept on winning.
Injury and controversy surrounding Evander Kane caused another potential hurdle. Yet Kevin Cheveldayoff was able to make a move that likely saved the Jets from missing the playoffs yet again.
The Jets did not miss the playoffs like many expected. They made it.
It may have been a sweep, but this was meaningful for us and for the team. It was a step in the right direction.
Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry emerged as bonafide middle six centres in their 21-year-old season. Jacob Trouba took another step toward becoming the defender Kevin Cheveldayoff promised Winnipeg fans at the draft.
We will be back and we will come with our first win.