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Winnipeg Jets coach Rick Bowness reflects on the season ending 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 came to an end last night after a 6-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in game 5 in Winnipeg. The Jets off-season begins today, and there will be a lot to cover over the next few weeks. The Jets will be doing their season-ending media availabilities tomorrow, both from the players and staff, so today I just wanted to cover what coach Rick Bowness had to say to the media last night after game 5.
It’s always difficult to have media interviews with the losing team on the same night they’re eliminated, but that’s just a part of the business. Some of the Jets players last night understandably didn’t speak with the media, choosing to take the rest of the night to reflect on the end of their season. Rick Bowness spoke for around 8 minutes with the media last night, and there were several intriguing answers as to how he felt about game 5 and about how he felt the Jets season went overall.
If you watched game 5, you might say that the Jets were finally able to play more like the game they’ve wanted to play throughout the series. In terms of how the team went out with a loss this final game but played a much better game, Bowness said
“In the 2 years that’s by far the best playoff game we’ve played. It didn’t go our way tonight, a couple goals went in off of us. We had some chances we didn’t score… where we were at this point last year when we lost, we’re way ahead, the team made a lot of great strides during the course of the season”.
There’s certainly a lot of learning points that the Jets will take from this series. That being said, the players can feel a sense of pride knowing that they had played a good game in game 5. The Jets will need a day or two to reflect on the series loss, but when they look at the overall season they will understand that they took an overall step in the right direction despite the end result.
You can’t deny that it was still a great regular season for the Jets, so the team will definitely be hoping to prove themselves again next season. Should the team use this series as motivation to improve next season? Certainly, and Rick Bowness, in terms of the collective mindset of the team said
“There’s no moral victories. There’s growth, you got to grow. We took a lot of strides as a group this year, we’ve grown a lot, we did. That’s why we were 110 points and led the league in [fewest] goals against. Now is there still room for growth? Absolutely. It’s obvious when you compare tonight to the previous 4.”
The playoffs are the time of the year where a team’s play gets magnified game by game. Despite losing the series 4-1, the Jets can feel at ease knowing that the final game of the season was not their worst of the series. The team will take what they’ve learnt from the previous 3 losses in the series and use that to prepare for what they can improve on for next season. The growth of the Jets this season compared to last season has been noticeable, and everyone is hoping that it’ll continue from here.
You also have to give credit to the Jets round 1 opponent, the Colorado Avalanche. Their speed and intensity were tough for the Jets to match, and played a big role in the Avalanche’s favour throughout the series. Despite the Jets having success with the Avalanche in the regular season, it was clear that the Avalanche were a better team in the playoffs, and you have to give them some credit for that even without looking at how the Jets played. The Avalanche showed everyone why they won a Stanley Cup back in 2022.
Towards the end of the media meeting with Rick Bowness, he was asked if there was anything he would have done differently in terms of his coaching approach for the series, and he said
“Ya, for sure, we lost, we didn’t win. So, the hindsight is 20/20. You do learn, you have to look back [and say] that didn’t work, that was a mistake, you have to be honest with yourself, which we will be, we’ll be very honest with ourselves as a staff. What we did right and what we did wrong, and what we have to do better.
There’s always going to be this sort of discussion whether it’s with the coaches, players, or the team collectively. When you lose you tend the focus too much on what went wrong, but as Bowness mentioned it’s important to look at a combination of the good and bad. When you’re assessing a team’s performance there’s many contributing factors, so it’s important to make sure it’s done the right way and with careful consideration.
We’ll hear more thoughts and reflections from the team, including GM Kevin Cheveldayoff during the media availabilities tomorrow afternoon. Until then, Jets fans should take the day to simply reflect on the season and start looking ahead to what the team will do in the off-season.
You can view the full coach Rick Bowness media here if you want to see all of the questions and answers from last night.

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