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Senators send Jets’ playoff hopes to bed

Mar 26, 2012, 11:47 PM EDT

Technically speaking, the Winnipeg Jets aren’t mathematically eliminated from the 2012 playoffs. Still, it’s tough not to feel that they’re essentially toast after the Ottawa Senators outlasted them 6-4 tonight.

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If nothing else, the Jets shouldn’t really feel “ashamed” – both from the perspective of this season and the individual contest. Just about every writer implied that the Jets could be atrocious and Winnipeg fans would be so delirious to have a team that it would all be gravy, so putting up a real fight to just fall short of the postseason isn’t half-bad. If we look back at this loss as the final nail in the coffin, it fits into the theme of overachieving, too.

Plenty of fight

The Senators took a 2-0 lead thanks to a late first period goal by Chris Neil and an early second period tally by wonderfully named Kaspars Daugavins, but the Jets didn’t just roll over. They tied it up about five minutes later and the theme carried on from there. Kyle Turris gave Ottawa a 3-2 lead at the 17:26 mark of the second period but Antti Miettinen scored his second goal of the night 20 seconds later to make it 3-3.

Daniel Alfredsson ended up being the killer, however. he scored about three minutes into the third period and while Evander Kane showed that the Jets still wouldn’t give up by making it 4-4 17:03 into the final frame, Alfredsson then scored the game-winner less than 30 seconds later. Milan Michalek scored an empty-netter to seal the deal, but ultimately the theme seemed to be “too little, too late” for the Jets.

(Heck, that might be an appropriate title for the team DVD, if those were allowed to be negative.)

Again, though, it’s tough to pile on the Jets unless you’re a jilted Atlanta Thrashers fan.

Even if you attribute it to Ottawa’s many leads, it’s impressive that Winnipeg out-shot Ottawa in all three periods and 48-35 overall. Shots aren’t everything, but they’re often a good way to illustrate team effort, which seemed to be there even if the talent wasn’t for the Jets.

Perhaps the most sobering factor is that this loss happened in Winnipeg, where the so-so team morphs into a serious threat.

End of the road

Sports Club Stats downgrades the Jets’ playoff chances from an already-paltry 4.1 percent to just .6 at this point, so tonight may indeed have been an informal curtain call. Still, if you’re a Winnipeg fan, you should probably feel reasonably satiated about the present and absolutely excited about the future.

Even if the short-term future probably won’t involve a trip to the playoffs.

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  1. lolnowhy - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    and so ends the brigade of delusional bandwagon Winnipeg fans trying to act as if their team isn’t a fully mediocre overachieving basement team

    • sheckyrimshot - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:39 AM

      out of curiosity, how does a first year team with 100% attendance constitute “bandwagon”?

      • lolnowhy - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:43 AM

        really? you answered your own question

      • sheckyrimshot - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:53 AM

        no… bandwagon means your team sucks, you don’t care, they stop sucking, suddenly you care.

      • ravenscaps48 - Mar 27, 2012 at 9:31 AM

        A La – Pittsburgh Penguins… For that matter the Washington Capitals too, but I’ve been season-ticket holder for 12 years

      • chizmo - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM

        don’t worry, calling people bandwagon fans is just the first sign of a moron. just let people be fans and shuddup. No reason to attack fans of a team, not to mention they didn’t even have a team until last year.

        Should they have been Thrasher fans before this season so they weren’t bandwagoning?

        btw, classy move by a Caps fan throwing Pens into bandwagon conversation…

  2. sharksfan754 - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Actually rimshot you just described “fair weather fans.” “bandwagoners” just like a team simply because they’re usually always good like the lakers for basketball,Yankees for baseball, red wings for hockey or patriots for football OR are currently doing well in the current season. Either way, neither of those things can be applied to jets fans

    • sheckyrimshot - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:12 AM

      no, someone who likes a team because they’re “usually always good” is a scumbag.

  3. sippindasyzurp - Mar 27, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    I am a Jets fan till I die… This was one of the best years ever for the city of Winnipeg… There is no other atmosphere like the MTS Center, maybe Montreal when there team is playing well but Winnipeg is rockin’ all the time…

    GO JETS GO!

    • sal1117 - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      The Thrashers need to be BACK HOME AT THE PHILIPS !!!!

      Not in a minor league city, with a shabby minor league arena and fans who will not be there in 3 years !!!

      BIG mistake moving Atlanta to a minor league town !!!!!!!!!

      • govtminion - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM

        Sal… people went to see the team this year. People were actually excited to see them play. Why on earth would they ever want to go back to Atlanta? It might be a smaller market, but it’s one that welcomed them- I can’t think of many times watching a Thrashers game that I saw a full house, and I don’t think I EVER heard the crowd really get into a game.

  4. dropthepuckeh - Mar 27, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    As a Bruins fan I think the Eastern Conference should be thankful the Jets aren’t going to make it to the playoffs. It looks insane in that building for a regular season game on a Monday night, I’d hate/love to see a playoff game. Once the formality of the regular season ends all bets are off. A hot goaltender, streaky scorer, or cinderella team have a regular habit of destroying the powerhouses in the opening rounds. Winnipeg will get to the postseason soon and I think their fans deserve it. It would be great to see half of that passion in the rest of the NHL arenas.

  5. pavelfitzgerald - Mar 27, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    Between this idiot calling Jets fans bandwagon jumpers (fans selling out for the next 3 years in 3 minutes) , the idiot on the Quebec post stating the Jets “bullyed” the NHL into a team (despite doing everything quietly & the right way) & the idiot who punched a girl out, Shark fans are proving that idiocy is alive & well in San Jose. I’d be pretty mad too if my team constantly choked in the playoffs every year

  6. pfpmb - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I hope sal1117 isn’t being serious. Atlanta had two cracks at an NHL franchise. Both times it didn’t work.

    Thrasher hockey, populairity wise, fell behind NFL, NBA, MLB, College football, High School football, High School basketball, etc. Not good for a business which was bleeding money playing in their own building. The ownership group was in shambles in ATL as well. I feel a little for the true ATL hockey fans when they lost their (second) franchise.

    The Jets ownership group is rock solid. They have the the right plan in place for this market. I cannot see this failing here in Winnipeg. I can see the MTS Centre being full come first place or last place.

    The run to the playoffs was fun while it lasted. I still think this run gives Jets management a good handle on what they have in their organization. Like I said in a previous post, this one year audition for most of the players will lead management into seeing what they need to work on to improive the club.

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