There are many advantages of living in a hockey-mad market like Winnipeg. For starters, there are no shortage of people willing to talk about the sport at any time of the year. Discussions and arguments about the status of the Winnipeg Jets aren’t uncommon in the middle of summer, let alone in the dead of winter.
But sometimes, the passion that Winnipeggers have for their beloved hockey team can sometimes lead fans to overreact and act somewhat irrationally.
After the Jets were shellacked 8-1 by the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, fans voiced their displeasure over the humiliating loss.
You know this sport is changing when your down by 8 and there has been no fighting majors SMH #nhljets
— Jon Warkentin (@JDW144) September 28, 2015
So happy we let Tlusty and Stemp go but kept Peluso and Halischuk!! #NHLJets
— Ryan (@RyanKBeotch) September 27, 2015
“Please Minnesota Wild, stop beating up on our poor hockey team. Pretty please?”
– #NHLJets fans
— Alan (@sliiiiip) September 28, 2015
Yes, the scene in St. Paul on Sunday wasn’t pretty. Of course there should be some concern about the team’s performance or lack thereof. But it was just a preseason game Winnipeg. CHILL!
Let’s get some very basic facts out of the way. Preseason games don’t count in the standings. (DUH!) Most of these games are used to see which players are good enough to make the big club, or if they need more seasoning either in the AHL or junior hockey. Veterans who have security in their jobs play very little. If they’re banged up like Andrew Ladd or Bryan Little, they won’t suit up until the regular season starts.
If anything, the drubbing in St. Paul may be beneficial to the Jets long-term. They now know the likes of Josh Morrissey, Joel Armia, Brendan Lemieux and Chase De Leo need some maturity, patience and growth in their respective skill sets, before they are NHL ready.
I know this sounds corny as hell, but games like this also serve a valuable purpose. Which kids keep working, which ones pack it in?
— Art Middleton (@GameTimeArt) September 27, 2015
Finally, the NHL season isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. A marathon that is shaped like a roller-coaster, filled with euphoric highs and excruciating lows. There will be plenty of opportunities to push the panic button between October and April. If the Jets get lucky, the spring will provide even more occasions for heart attacks and sleepless nights. But this is only September. Relax, settle in and enjoy the ride. Even if you feel nauseous at some point, someone will clean up afterwards. We’re hockey fans. We’re supposed to feel queazy a bare minimum of ten times during the season. The journey will be hard and the roads will be rough. But it won’t be forgotten and you can laugh about it later.