Apr 26, 2013, 12:03 PM EDT
The Winnipeg Jets won’t be participating in the playoffs for the second straight season — the sixth straight, if you go back to the Atlanta Thrashers days.
For some, that trend is getting annoying.
“I’m sick of going home right now and I think we have lot of guys that are sick of going home right now,” forward Blake Wheeler told the Winnipeg Sun. “I’m going to have a hard time drawing on any positives, when you’re going home and watching the important hockey being played from your couch again.
“That’s going to be tough to swallow.”
Wheeler’s been with the organization since the Atlanta days and knows what he’s missing out on.
He qualified for the playoffs in each of his first two seasons in the NHL — with Boston — and isn’t alone in postseason experience.
In short, the Jets are reaching a point where having great fans and playing an entertaining style simply isn’t enough anymore.
The team struggled mightily in some key areas (25th in goals against, 23rd on the penalty kill, 22nd in faceoff percentage), which essentially kept it out of a playoff spot.
All eight playoff teams in the East finished with a positive goals for/goals against differential.
Winnipeg finished minus-16.
Wheeler tried to stay positive in his outlook for the future, but acknowledged things need to improve.
“Hopefully, we can all look in the mirror and make a change,” he explained. “I think we’re on the right path.
“But ninth-place is a first-class ticket home again.”
- Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract 10
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 6
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 27
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 45
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal 39
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 42
- Advancement? Leafs sign Booth for one year, $1.1M 25
- Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM 30
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 69
- Stars, Roussel agree on four-year, $8 million deal 3
- Babcock fires back over allegations that free agents avoid him (77)
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Lucic regrets handshake-line actions, but isn’t apologizing (58)
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M (58)