The Winnipeg Jets had a tough regular season, but not tough enough so that they missed the playoffs entirely. So here we sit, the tournament begins.
The Winnipeg Jets can forget everything that’s transpired over the last several months. The good, the bad, it’s all gone. The only thing that remains is their record.
The record that was good enough to get them into the postseason with home ice advantage in round one. The record that just wasn’t quite good enough to win them the Central Division.
The Jets can forget about Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele‘s strong seasons and tough finishes. They can forget about the injuries to Dustin Byfuglien and (hopefully) Josh Morrissey, as they both figure to suit up later tonight.
They can forget about the twenty point drop Patrik Laine had in his third season, because none of that matters now. It’s a sixteen win race to the finish, first team there gets the Cup.
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Will it be easy? No, it never is. And yes, most of us aren’t as confident as we should be, having watched the Winnipeg Jets of the regular season. But it’s not the time for that, now. Everyone’s record is 0-0.
There are no shootouts, no 3 on 3 overtime. This is straight up hockey, as the Lord intended, and teams will play as long as it takes every night to decide a winner. Our Jets begin this grind tonight in the lovely streets of Manitoba, which will be flooded white.
St. Louis offers a tough challenge, and even though the Jets were 3-1 against them in the regular season, that doesn’t matter now. The Blues ending with momentum doesn’t matter, nor does the Jets ending on a whimper.
No team was going to be an easy challenge in the playoffs, that’s how these things go. The Jets fought their way through two rounds before falling to Vegas last season. That doesn’t matter now either.
The Jets have a chance to wipe the slate clean, go out, and play hockey the way they know they can. They can execute their game plan with their players, the way it was supposed to be since the outset of the year.
But guess what? That doesn’t matter either. The season begins in earnest tonight, and the Jets know everything that led to this can be thrown out the window. Just rip silky smooth bar down wristers, boys.