Should the Winnipeg Jets make the NHL Playoffs this year, the way in which they get there will not be pretty — or easy to say the least.
As it stands right now, the Jets would be in the playoffs if the season ended today, but just barely. They currently sit with 76 points to their credit, which is great and all but it is only a single point above the Minnesota Wild (who have the eighth and final spot) and four points behind both the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks (both with 73 points & fighting for a playoff berth).
So now that we are entering crunch time, every loss that the Jets add to their resume hurts them much more than it normally would.
I mean, have you seen how the Kings and Wild have been playing lately?
Los Angeles has won nine of their last twelve games while Minnesota has won eight of their last ten contests to make the race for the eighth spot heat up even more.
How was Winnipeg performed? Only winning half of their last ten games, including the 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators at home on Wednesday night really doesn’t help their situation.
Speaking of Wednesday night’s action, Ottawa was in complete control from the very beginning. The Senators managed to grab a 3-0 lead heading into the third period and only let up on a Michael Frolik goal for the Jets that cut the lead to 3-1 — but besides that, no harm done.
Kyle Turris was the lone scorer in the first period while Bobby Ryan and Erik Condra pitched in goals of their own for the Senators later on the in the middle frame.
From there, it was cake.
The Jets’ main problem this season has been not just consistent hockey but playing under pressure. Against the Los Angeles Kings seems to be the only big-name team that the Jets do well against whether it’s a road game.
Other than that? Not so lucky. Especially against teams that aren’t great this year and don’t see the playoffs in their foreseeable future.
As for their five losses in the last ten games, four of them were to potential playoff teams. The St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, and Nashville Predators are all teams that have a spot locked up while Wednesday’s loss to Ottawa was to a Senator team just four points behind the Bruins for a berth in the post season.
And much like the defending champion Kings, the Senators are very hungry for success — while, at least from what’s been evident with the Jets lately, the feelings are so much the same in Winnipeg.
The attitude of the team, coaching staff, and the fans has to change if the Jets are going to have any success — or luck, I should say — against the Western Conference.
Because when the playoffs get going, no one is safe and there is no mercy.