Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The final score was 4-2 for the visiting Montreal Canadiens and by the time the buzzer arrived, there was no steam left in the players or the fans. The promise of this season had been broken. And hearts in Jets jerseys, both on the ice and in the stands, were stopped.
The Jets, having been dealt one final cruel blow, had nothing left to offer. Their will had been broken. Weeks of tottering on an emotional ledge had taken its toll, and now with their fate determined, the Jets went fetal. No fight, no push-back, no nothing.
Taking its cue from the players, the audience many consider the best in hockey lost its voice.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
With 51 points, the Jets can finish with no more than 53 by winning their final game. It means the teams they’re chasing – the eighth-place Ottawa Senators and the seventh-place New York Rangers – can clinch a playoff spot with a single win in any of their remaining games. Despite earning just a single point in the shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the New York Islanders locked down the sixth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference when Winnipeg lost.
So things are dire for the Jets, who were playing for the second time in two nights, and running mostly on adrenaline, knowing the stakes were so high. But the Capitals knew that, too.
It was the last time the two teams met as Southeast Division rivals and Washington can thank the Jets, in many ways, for saving their season. It was back in the third week of March when the Capitals, languishing in 14th place in the East, visited Winnipeg and swept the Jets in two one-sided games, outscoring them by a 10-1 margin.
No goal for Winnipeg and I believe it was the right call.
The screenshot is right when the puck hits the ice, on edge and you can see it makes contact with the goal line.
Watch the video below...
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
The Winnipeg Jets’ team bus stopped at the intersection of Dreams and Fears early Tuesday morning, as they pulled into Washington after a clutch 2-1 win at Buffalo, their entire season now laid out before them in one tidy divisional battle against the Capitals.
The Jets wanted a shot at the Southwest Division title, and at least a playoff birth? Here it is, boys. Right there for the taking.
They feared coming away with neither? Well, let’s talk at about 9 p.m. CT Tuesday night, and we’ll see what’s left of the Jets’ season.
“(Tuesday’s game) has been circled on our calendar for a long time now,” captain Andrew Ladd told media after the game in Buffalo. “We wanted to put ourselves into a position where it was going to be a meaningful game and we’ve done that. So here it is.”
Winnipeg Jets forward Olli Jokinen is out 6-8 weeks with a high ankle sprain after colliding with New York Islanders defenceman Thomas Hickeyearly in Saturday's game.
According to Gary Lawless of TSN Radio 1290, defenceman Zach Bogosian is also out at least a week with a concussion. The blueliner appeared to be injured after taking a hit to the head from Islanders forward Kyle Okposo.
Watch the hit below...
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
The third-place Capitals and ninth-place Jets are separated by a mere two points heading into the penultimate weekend of the season, each team with four games left on its schedule.
Washington, whose eight-game winning streak was snapped by the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night, remains in the division lead with 50 points, but the Jets trail by two after edging the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime Thursday 4-3.
Though the Jets are tied with the New York Rangers at 48 points, the eighth-place Rangers have a game in hand.
The two competing storylines are both compelling: one a team that has essentially risen from the dead after a dreadful start to the season, much in part to Alex Ovechkin's dynamic play; another club desperate to earn its first playoff berth since 2007.
Who has the advantage from here?
Three of the Caps' final four games are against playoff teams -- Montreal, Ottawa and Boston. The other game?
That's right, an all-important four-point match against the Jets at home Tuesday.
"We're right there, we have a lot of guys who have won in the past and have been in the post-season. But we also have some guys who have never been in the post-season. Still, most of the guys here have won or been in the playoffs at some level. They know how good it feels. We don't want to waste this year. We don't want to be saying in a couple of weeks we were close."
- Olli Jokinen of the Winnipeg Jets and their playoff chances. More from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press.
When asked Sunday what he felt about playing only 17:48 of Saturday’s win over Philadelphia, Dustin Byfuglien cracked: “I felt like I was sitting around a lot.”
read more on Byfuglien from Kirk Penton of the Winnipeg Sun.
"It’s nothing short of a miracle considering what’s he’s been through. We’re all aware of what happened. Considering the magnitude of the injury and the insult, not only to the leg but the whole body, it’s quite miraculous."
-Winnipeg Jets head physician Dr. Peter MacDonald regarding Zach Redmond skating today.
In case you don't recall what happened to Redmond...
Redmond had his femoral artery lacerated by teammate Antti Miettinen’s skate during a practice in Raleigh, North Carolina in late February.
more from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press.
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
There's no magic wand for Cheveldayoff to wave for a fix and he's been clear on his stance of not spending futures to try and get into the post-season.
So maybe help just isn't a possibility under management's long-term gameplan.
"I'm not so worried about third or not. If we get into the playoffs, then we deserve to get in there. Third or sixth or eighth or fifth, it would be a great opportunity for our young players to go to the playoffs," Cheveldayoff told the Free Press last week. "That's obviously what you are trying to do. Now you don't sell the farm to do it but in the same breath you don't sit here and look at the opportunity and say, 'nah, we'll wait until next year.' You take what you can get and you run with it."
Cheveldayoff has a plan and he won't be dissuaded. He also has 10 picks in this summer's draft and if he can move a few of them for a roster player with some term going forward, he can help the present and the future. So there are trades he will make. But there are lots of variables and a rental player doesn't seem to be in the cards for the Jets.
So perhaps it'll be up to the men you already know as your Winnipeg Jets to get this done on their own.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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