It won’t happen in the way that they want, but Friday’s game against the Calgary Flames will mark the end of the 2013-14 season for the Winnipeg Jets.
The Jets play game #82 of the regular season on Friday night, and with the playoffs out of reach for a third season since the move north, they can only hope to go out with a victory.
Jets’ head coach Paul Maurice earlier today when asked what he would like to see from his team:
“What they have left. This is a tough of stretch of games as they play, because they’ve traveled a lot recently, and then to have three really hard days, it’s easier to play that game last night with the fear of the Boston Bruins, and in front of your home crowd, this one will be tougher emotionally for us.”
The Jets won that said game against the Bruins on Thursday night, with rookie goaltender Michael Hutchinson picking up his first career NHL win in the process. Beating the NHL’s top team was no small feat, even with heavy-weights such as Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara out of the lineup. It doesn’t get any easier for the Jets on Friday, as the Flames come in fresh of a victory over the Los Angeles Kings, and on the heels of a four-game win streak.
The Jets have the opportunity to leave the season behind on their own terms, something they were unable to do in both seasons previous. They earned the final win at the MTS Centre the night previous, and the focus has shifted from home to the road, with a chance to earn road win #19 on the season.
Win or loss, the Jets will finish the season a .500% team, at least. One can only think of the Jets’ record with consistent goaltending, a healthier roster, and a weaker division than that of the new Central Division they played in for it’s inaugural season. However, Those thoughts are just that: thoughts.
The Jets need to win this game for the fans of Winnipeg, who have stuck out for three seasons without success, and for some, many more without hockey in the first place. It is no consolation to the pain of missing the playoffs, but a two-game win streak would be much better to remember than a final-game loss for Jets’ fans over the next 6 months.
There has been many silver linings since the Jets were officially eliminated, and tonight, they have an opportunity for one more. It may be an emotional affair, but the game will end one way or another.
GO JETS GO!
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