Saturday, March 31, 2012

Memorable Season Ends for Jets

Tonight the Winnipeg Jets lost to Tampa in OT and with that loss, their playoff chances ended as the Jets were eliminated from the post-season. While the Jets do have three games remaining, for all intents and purposes, this season is over.

My first emotions, were one of sadness but that was very short lived. The Jets provided this Jet fan with many memories. It goes down as one of the most memorable NHL hockey seasons in my life. It seems long ago that I heard the news of a possible NHL return to the peg. It was only last summer. I was so happy when the news was finalized by the NHL board of governors. What ensued was an emotional season and one of extreme happiness.

I remember the last game of the old version of the Jets and the pain I felt as a young man, that my beloved team was moving to the friggin desert of Arizona. I was angered. What did they no about hockey? Nothing. They still don't.

Lets not dwell on the past. So the Jets began play with their first regular season game against the Montreal Canadians at the MTS Centre. When the Jets players were announced on to the ice, tears were flowing down my face. Was this really happening? Yes it was. I was so happy. I felt like that young man, 16 years earlier but this time I was happy and I was crying tears of joy.

As the years past, I had found my way to Minneapolis (after college). I met my wife (A Minnesota native) and I settled in to life in the Twin Cities. So I watched the first game from the confines of my home and not with friends in the Peg.

The first couple of months started very slowly for the club but when December hit, the guys got on a roll. They played solid hockey, pretty much until the end of February. The Jets needed to win about 60 percent of their games in March to have a shot at the playoffs. Instead, the team won only 50 percent of their games.

I would like to have the first two months back. We will never know what a few more wins during that stretch would have meant for the team's playoffs possibilities. They very well could have made the playoffs.

I still feel that this season was a winning one. The Jets provided their fans with joy, jubilation and thrills. Two years ago, we couldn't have imagined a year like this ever happening. Jets fans have also provided their team with thrills. Jets fans were the best in the league this year and are the talk of the NHL. The MTS Centre is a crazy place for opponents to play. Jets fans are crazy loud and provide a spark for their team.

In the end, even with the Winnipeg Jets missing the playoffs, it was still a memorable season and a successful one. Next year, the pressure's on. We will expect nothing less than a spot in the 2013 playoffs. The honeymoon is over!

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