Sunday, May 27, 2018

Winnipeg Jets reminisce on historic playoff run

Less than 48 hours after the historic Winnipeg Jets playoff race came to an end, the team returned to Bell MTS Place to speak with the media on Tuesday.

"A lot of hope and expectation and everything changes in a week," said Jets captain Blake Wheeler.

"It's very difficult to swallow because we felt like we were there in every game," said goalkeeper Connor Hellebuyck.

The Jets dropped three victories before a trip to the Stanley Cup final after losing to the Golden Knights of Las Vegas in the Eastern Conference finals.

They may not have a trophy to show in their historical career, but many players noticed the valuable experience gained.

"I hope all men learn something about themselves, about our team, about what hockey playoff looks like and what it means to so many people," said Mark Scheifele.

READ MORE: Canada's Stanley Cup drought reaches 25 years after Jets defeated

Patrik Laine, who played in his first postseason, said the playoffs are better than he imagined.

"You can always watch the playoffs from the television and it looks good and intense, but it's something different," said the 20-year-old winger.

Head coach Paul Maurice met with the players for the exit interviews on Tuesday and said the tone was very different this time than in previous years when the team could not make it to the playoffs.

"There was a sense of relief and they were different this year, certainly positive," he said. "They love each other, they love each other, they like to be here, they like this team."

General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff also spoke with the players and said he urged players to remember the feel of this year's playoffs.

"It will take a few days, probably more, to really face the emotion that we entered because of what we just happened and that's good."

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