ANALYSIS: Jets’ post-playoff feeling vastly different from angst in Toronto

The news Thursday that Sheldon Keefe had been dismissed in Toronto came as no surprise to anyone in the hockey world. The moment David Pastrnak put that overtime goal in the net in Game 7, the coach was being changed for the Maple Leafs.

Quite a contrast, really, with how the season ended for the Jets. And yes, I know Winnipeg lost in five games to Colorado. And yes, I know the Jets are looking for a new coach as well. But the feeling in and around the two teams is vastly different.

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Both teams expected to go much further than the first round. But the similarities end there. As both teams lick their wounds, you get the feeling the Jets are on the right path of success in pursuit of the ultimate goal.

Rick Bowness’s departure with a smile on his face and a jump in his step is quite a contrast to Keefe’s departure. And while Bowness took responsibility for not getting his team over the hump, coaches, you see, rarely leave their position of their own volition. Bowness leaves knowing he did his part in rebuilding the culture of the Jets’ dressing room and helping build a solid foundation for management and the new coach to build on.

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Everyone is pulling together in the right direction.

In Toronto, Keefe also took responsibility for not getting his team over the hump, deflecting the blame from the players — who, by the way, took no responsibility for the four losses in the post-season. The fan base in Toronto wants blood, more than the coach — from the roster, and maybe even more than that.

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And with a new CEO at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, many people are ducking for cover, hoping to survive.

And while the Jets do not have the goal-scoring prowess of Auston Matthews, they do have a great deal more depth among the forwards, and certainly can boast a quality number-one defenceman in Josh Morrissey and quality goalie in Connor Hellebuyck, who I expect to be even more focused next season than the last one.

So, all is not lost in Winnipeg. The pain of being eliminated far too early in the Stanley Cup playoffs is palpable. But there is consolation. Just know, there is more pain, more bitterness, in Toronto, among Maple Leafs fans.

Click to play video: 'Jets head coach Rick Bowness calls it quits after 38-season NHL career'
Jets head coach Rick Bowness calls it quits after 38-season NHL career

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