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Instant Reaction: Winnipeg Jets’ season comes to an end after a 6-3 loss in game 5

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Photo credit:© James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
1 month ago
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The Winnipeg Jets’ season has come to an end after a 6-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in game 5 of their 1st round matchup. The Avalanche win the series 4 games to 1. The Jets gave it their all in this elimination game, but they came up short again. There were some noticeable improvements in game 5 compared to the last 3 games, but it still wasn’t enough to get the job done. It’s unfortunate that the season had to end at home for the Jets, but the fans got to send them 1 final send off goodbye before they went off the ice at the end of the game. Since you’ve probably seen the game or highlights by now, I’ll try to keep this final game summary of the year relatively straightforward.
The 1st period started off with some high energy play from the Jets. Feeding off the crowd’s energy, you could tell there was an extra sense of determination and commitment to having a good game. Kyle Connor opened the scoring for the Jets just over 1 minute in, after a scramble in front which was eventually deflected in off an Avalanche player into their own net.
The Avalanche were quick to respond to this goal though, giving the Jets almost no time to gain any sort of momentum. Just 2 minutes after Connor’s opening goal, Valeri Nichushkin scored his 7th goal of this series off a lovely tic-tac-toe play set up by Devon Toews and Mikko Rantanen to tie the game at 1.
After that goal there were a few more chances on both sides for the remainder of the 1st, but it remained 1-1 after the 1st. Shots on goal were 13-7 for the Avalanche and both teams stayed out of the penalty box.
The 2nd period was where the Avalanche started gaining momentum in this game. The Jets took their 1st and only penalty of the game 2 minutes into the 2nd, but were successful on the penalty kill. However, around 2 minutes after the powerplay was over, Yakov Trenin made a nice play in front of the net and gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead.
The Jets struck back quickly though, scoring on their 1st of 2 powerplays in the game. Mark Scheifele tee’d one up for Josh Morrissey who ripped a shot from the point past Alexandar Georgiev to tie the game up at 2.
After that goal the Jets seemed to settle down a bit and played more of the game style that they wanted to play. With 6 minutes to go in the 2nd, a very unfortunate bounce happened for the Jets. Arturri Lehkonen was credited with his 5th goal of the series after he passed one in front that went off Neal Pionk’s stick and into the back of the net, giving the Avalanche a 3-2 lead.
After that goal the Jets continued to push for a quick equalizer but couldn’t get 1 in the 2nd. The Jets got their 2nd and final powerplay at the end of the 2nd but couldn’t get one past Georgiev, who had himself another great night in net. Shots in the 2nd period favoured the Jets, 18-11.
The 3rd period got off to a great start for the Jets when Tyler Toffoli wristed an absolute snipe past Georgiev to tie the game at 3. This was only 2 minutes into the 3rd, and the crowd was fired up.
Unfortunately, the excitement of tying the game for Jets fans didn’t last too long. Just 2 minutes later, a point shot was deflected past Connor Hellebuyck by Mikko Rantanen, giving the Avalanche a 4-3 lead early in the 3rd.
That goal took a bunch of energy out of the crowd, and again the Jets had to try to find a way back in this game. As you may have already seen, they were unsuccessful in doing so. 4 minutes later, off a great play by Nathan MacKinnon, Rantanen scored again on a partial 2 on 1 to give the Avalanche a 5-3 lead.
That goal really took the energy out of the building, but the Jets kept battling until the end. There weren’t any penalties on either side in the 3rd period, it was just some good fast paced playoff hockey. The Jets pulled their goalie with a few minutes left but couldn’t get another goal. Josh Manson shot the puck down the ice and into the empty net and gave the Avalanche a 6-3 lead with 2 seconds left. The final buzzer went and the Jets season was over.
Final shots on goal were 36-32 for the Jets and 11-8 for the Jets in the 3rd. The Jets finished 1 for 2 on the powerplay while the Avalanche went 0 for 1 on the man advantage. At the end of the game both teams shook hands before the Jets players gave the fans a final salute before heading off the ice for the final time in the 2023-24 season. 4 straight losses wasn’t the way the Jets wanted to end the season, but it was the Avalanche who deserved to advance to the 2nd round in this series based on their overall play.
So what’s next for the Jets and myself here at Jets Nation? Well, there’s still a few things to go over from game 5 such as the player and coach reactions which I’ll cover later day. After that, I’ll be shifting over to some off-season content, because there will be lots of questions about what this Jets team will look like next season. After that, they’ll be all the other usual events in the NHL’s off-season to cover such as the award show, the draft, and free agency. As I said, it wasn’t the end to the season that the Jets wanted, but I still want to say thank you to Jets Nation for supporting your team throughout the season, and I know you’ll be ready to cheer them on again in the 2024-25 season!

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