Winnipeg Jets reminisce on historic playoff run
Less than 48 hours after the Winnipeg Jets’ historic playoff run came to an end, the team was back at Bell MTS Place speaking to the media on Tuesday.
“A lot of hope and expectation and then it all changes in a week,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said.
“It’s so hard to swallow because we felt like we were right there in every single game,” goalie Connor Hellebuyck said.
The Jets fell three wins short of a trip to the Stanley Cup Final after losing to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Eastern Conference Final.
They may not have a trophy to show for their historic run but many players noted the valuable experience gained.
“Every guy I hope learned something about themselves, about our team, about what playoff hockey looks like and what it means to so many people,” Mark Scheifele said.
Patrik Laine, who played in his first postseason, said playoffs are better than he imagined.
“You can always watch the playoffs from TV and it looks cool and it’s intense but it’s just something different,” the 20-year-old winger said.
Head coach Paul Maurice met with players for exit interviews on Tuesday and said the tone was much different this time around than in previous years when the team failed to make the playoffs.
“There was a sense of relief and they were different this year, certainly positive,” he said. “They like each other, they care for each other, they like being here, they like this team.”
GM Kevin Cheveldayoff also spoke to players and said he urged players to remember the feeling of this year’s playoff run.
“It’s going to take a few days, probably more, to really come to grips with the emotion that goes into that we’ve just gone through and that’s good.”
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