There are 14 games remaining on the regular-season schedule for the Winnipeg Jets — less than 20 per cent of their 82-game docket — and at this point, it’s difficult to know how it will conclude.
Simply put, there are two options from here to there: playoff qualification or playoff miss — the latter of which would be a troubling turn of events, considering where the club resided at the time of the all-star break.
Now, Winnipeg’s recent road trip through the Eastern Conference that netted two wins in three starts does provide some optimism for a post-season berth. If it’s to happen, it won’t come easy — but it should be exciting.
At this moment, the Jets are like a wandering teenager, a vulnerable soul teetering on going the right way or U-turning completely southward into a troubled abyss — the consequences of that left to the cruel judgement of an entire province.
Even after last night’s loss in Carolina, there are encouraging signs the Jets have turned the corner on an entire month of struggles — playing harder, playing better, and overall being better and harder to play against.
But between now and April 13, strength of schedule might aid in Winnipeg’s quest for playoff entry, especially since a wild card spot in the Western Conference seems more likely with each passing game — yet unsecured with Calgary and divisional foe Nashville very much closing objects in the rearview mirror.
To this point, the Jets still control their own fate, a path that continues to wind in an unknown direction as each game gets crossed off the schedule until the 82nd is completed.
Indeed, with 14 games remaining on the schedule, Winnipeg’s heading toward the playoffs is still unknown. With those games remaining, it should be an intriguing ride as to where they land, above or below the line, forcing everyone that follows them to buckle up for a truly interesting descent.