ST. LOUIS – A season that started with so many promises ended with a failure. And a Winnipeg Jets team that many had envisioned for a possible Stanley Cup parade would rather be facing a long off season to understand where things were going badly after a playoff exit in the first round.
It was officially Saturday night in St. Louis that the Blues won 3-2 to win the best series of seven games in six games. The score flattered the Jets, who seemed to resign themselves to their fate from the first pitch. Table A: Drop a goal only 23 seconds after the start of the match.
Jaden Schwartz, who was the hero of the fifth game by scoring the winner 15 seconds from time, continued this momentum. And the Jets, it seems, could never recover.
"It's a tough trophy to win, maybe our best was not good enough today and their best was damn good," said captain Blake Wheeler when he was asked if he was expecting better from his group.
Schwartz, the winger from Wilcox, Sask., Was a demolition ball to a man, scoring a power play in the second period and a new third period goal for the natural hat trick, giving his team a big lead. The Jets fought back with two goals late, but that was too little, too late.
"Of course, that's not the beginning you want, at the same time you look at the clock and know there's 59 minutes left, that's not what we wanted to happen, but there was a lot of At that point, we just could not start our game early enough to give us a chance to win, "said defenseman Josh Morrissey.
Winnipeg was sentenced to the inability to win one of three home games and a virtual defeat with its in-game season.
How was it? Consider that they had as many shots on their own goalkeeper (one, an accidental deviation of Ben Chiarot) as on St. Louis rookie Jordan Binnington (one, a harmless rider of Morrissey) in the second period, and only six in all in 40 minutes.
"They played very well, we had six shots in two periods, we're probably not going to do it, you have to pay tribute to them, they got that early and they kept going," he said. Wheeler.
Upon entering the game, the Jets said all the good things about not letting the way the match 5 ended is having an impact on their game. They were 20 minutes from the lead of the series Thursday night, only to see a 2-0 defeat lead to a 3-2 defeat at Bell MTS Place. And yet, their game suggests that the heartbreaking result has spilled over.
"This game is certainly painful, you feel you have to win two games to win one, sometimes," said Wheeler.
Adam Lowry was quite direct when asked what he thought of the difference in the series between two 99-point teams in the regular season.
"It was a tight series, I think it would have been important to keep the lead in the third period, so probably," he said.
The Jets do not have to worry about a lead in it, falling behind schedule quickly. This was not without controversy. Winnipeg challenged the goalkeeper's intervention, saying Schwartz had made contact with Connor Hellebuyck. But the review of the video confirmed the right goal and the Jets immediately lost their time and all the other challenges.
"You can not have more luck than that.What I saw is a puck that hit the side of the net or the pole, one of the two, and in one way or from another, she jumped right on the crossbar, from my back.If this is not the happy rebound you consider lucky, then I do not know what it is ", has said Hellebuyck.
The lost challenge would be great when Schwartz would hit again, as it seemed Pat Maroon was right in Hellebuyck's trough and might have prevented his ability to make a save. But with the officials who did not report it, the Jets were not able to protest.
"That's the definition of the goalkeeper's interference and his argument was that the guy was in the white. But I was clearly in the blue, my feet were on the pole or right next to the pole so I could be in the white. And he was holding my glove, he was holding it and I could not move for five or ten seconds. I do not know, I think it's interference from the guardian, "said Hellebuyck.
Dustin Byfuglien also played an important role in the first two accounts. On the first, he gave the puck with his partner Chiarot, caught the ice, then returned to Hellebuyck with Schwartz.
At second base, it was Byfuglien on the penalty box for a crazy offense of brutality that occurred at the end of a marathon round. Byfuglien put Alex Steen in a head shot, then hit a shot on someone on the St. Louis bench.
This is not a good idea for one of the key elements of the Winnipeg Foundation, which is also part of the executive group as assistant captain.
Schwartz added his third of the night for good measure early in the third, as the Jets were again trapped. This provided valuable assurance, which proved useful when Byfuglien scored with 7:43 to make in the match, burying a rebound on a shot from Hayes.
Wheeler was sentenced to a very severe penalty of four minutes with just over two minutes to play and Hellebuyck coming out of goal for an additional striker. Bryan Little scored shorthanded 36 seconds from the end (Hellebuyck was again eliminated at five to five), but the return was doomed to failure.
"In situations like this, you're looking for determination in your group, you're looking for how the guys are fighting, and we played until the last whistle, that's how I see it." "said Wheeler.
The fans of the Enterprise Center have absorbed everything, even while chanting "You look nervous" to Hellebuyck in the last minutes of the game. Of course, it was a cheeky ode to the Bell MTS Place singing at Binnington in Game 5.
Binnington may have been bored more than anything during the night, having faced only 20 shots in total, most of them being in the last period when the game was already out of reach. Hellebuyck was much busier with 36 shots.
After losing the first two home games, with one goal, the Jets seemed to find new life with a pair of impressive wins in St. Louis, or even the series. And they seemed to bring that to match 5, with a good start that imploded in the last stretch.
"You have to be careful with the excuses, we've been beaten, I do not think we've had this enduring gas for the entire series, I did not think we'd find it, we played as hard as we could. had a lot of good hockey games here, "said coach Paul Maurice.
"They played as hard as they could (Saturday) and they did not stop, we could see him in the faces before the third third, there is not much reserve there They kept pushing, so I'm proud of that and I'm proud of the way they handled that. "
Now they have a much longer season than expected. A team that was in first place in the Central Division for much of the year, but lost in the final days of the regular season, has won four of its last 13 games (4-8-1) .
Nikolaj Ehlers was a game decision to play after blocking a shot in the last minute of the fifth match. He played, but did not seem to have the usual extra equipment when he was moving. Of course, the same could be said for most of his teammates, who remained stuck in neutral most of the night.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to become a professional wrestler. But when this dream collapsed, he put all his energy into becoming a professional writer.
Read the full biography