March Sadness

March Sadness

It was been a dismal month of March for the Winnipeg Jets. Instead of pushing for a playoff spot, they were all but pushed out. In the 15 March games they played, the Jets found the win column only four times. In such a critical month, the Jets playoff chances have all but vanished.

In an effort to build off a dramatic 5-4 win in overtime over the Colorado Avalanche, the Winnipeg Jets welcomed the Carolina Hurricanes to the MTS Centre. Jim Slater gave the Jets a 1-0 lead in the second period but the Canes stormed back with three unanswered goals. Carolina goaltender was spectacular stopping 34 of 36 shots to give his team a 3-2 win. After the game, Jets forward Bryan Little talked to the media about the magnitude of the game.

“It was just one of those things where they got the lead, and the whole bench kind of gasped because of the importance of the game,” said Little. “It kind of feels like the end of the world.”

Things would not get any easier for Winnipeg as they would embark on a five game Western Conference road trip. Their first stop was against the Dallas Stars who they embarrassed 7-2 in their last contest. However, it was a more tightly contested affair this time around. Ray Whitney and Tyler Seguin scored powerplay goals and Kari Lehtonen turned away 32 shots to give the Stars a 2-1 win. Little tallied for the Jets late in the third while Al Montoya had 25 saves in the Jets loss.

The Jets would travel to California to take on the San Jose Sharks and Blake Wheeler, one of the rare bright spots for the Winnipeg Jets this year, provided his team with a spark. Wheeler had a goal and two assists including a helper that set up Toby Enstrom’s game winning goal late in the third period. The Jets 4-3 win played spoiler hurting the Sharks quest for a division title.

The Los Angeles Kings hosted the Jets at the Staples Centre and pounced on them from the get go. Anze Kopitar scored twice for the Kings and Jonathan Quick made 24 saves to double up the Jets 4-2.

In what could be the most disappointing game of the season, the Jets gave the Pacific Division leading Anaheim Ducks all they could handle. The Jets scored the first four goals of the game to lead 4-0. The Ducks scored late in the second and three in the third period. Stephane Robidas would score in overtime to complete the comeback for Anaheim. Wheeler scored once again for his 27th of the campaign in the demoralizing 5-4 loss.

Captain Andrew Ladd managed to salvage the road trip in Phoenix. Ladd scored in regulation and scored the shootout winner to give the Jets a 2-1 win over the Coyotes. Ondrej Pavelec rebounded with a 29 save performance in win.

With five games left on the schedule, the Winnipeg Jets have the slimmest of playoff chances as they sit 7 points out of a playoff spot.

Photos by Mike Macaraeg | Filipino Journal