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Jets Bounced From Round One, Frustration Throughout Org. and Fans

April 28, 2023, 1:23 PM ET [1 Comments]
Jacob Billington
Winnipeg Jets Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
In a Game 5 outing, the Winnipeg Jets were eliminated from the 2023 NHL Playoffs. They lost Game 5 by a score of 4-1, and there is a great amount of frustration throughout the organization as well as the fanbase.

There isn't much to talk about in terms of the fifth game of the series itself, but there are a few notes I will add. Nikolaj Ehlers rejoined the team and while he didn't look to be 100 percent, his play was indicative of a player trying to get some energy going in his team.

Connor Hellebuyck was always going to be the life or death of this potential playoff run, but his play was not good enough. It is hard to be critical of a goaltender that has taken you as far as he has, but when it got to playoff time, he wasn't playing at the level he needed to be at.

With 8:18 left in the third period, the Jets, who were down 4-0, pulled Hellebuyck for the extra attacker. They did manage to score one on a goal from Kyle Connor, but they couldn't muster up enough to get back in the game.

The biggest story of the game came after the game. Rick Bowness met with the media and before sitting down, he stated to the reporters that it was going to be a very brief presser and seemed short and agitated. He was hardly seated by the time he was wondering why nobody was asking yet.

The summary of all of him answers was that this team, since January and February, did not play with the level of pushback they needed to, and that spilled right into the first round, costing them their playoffs. The first two games in Vegas had some good effort level, but it was almost as if they lost all hope and motivation as soon as the injury bug made it's way to Morrissey and then Scheifele.

This team needs a major shakeup. They started it last year by bringing Bowness in, then stripping Wheeler of the captaincy, but then nothing else really changed other than on-ice systems. The leadership group is still in place, letter or not, and they need a personnel change at the top of the lineup.

Kevin Cheveldayoff has the hardest job in the NHL, but he needs to be able to get this team past annual mediocrity. At this point, with Scheifele, Wheeler, Hellebuyck and Dubois just 14 months away from UFA status, and there is not much hope with the current management team and fans in this core to go for one more run at it.

This is the off-season to blow things up.

I am not going to get into what all of the things to do this off-season are yet, but that is coming soon.

Being a fly on the wall during the exit interviews would be quite interesting, but of course impossible. It will be interesting, however, to hear from these top-of-the-lineup players in their end-of-season press conferences. If it is anything like last year, we are in for a doozy.
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