Fair weather fans don’t really exist in Winnipeg. Those that support the Jets, do so whole-heartedly and those that don’t, don’t.
Sure there are those fans of other teams that say they are happy for Winnipeg to have a team back and give us their “sympathy support” should we not be lining up against their team.
One might even argue that Winnipeg could be the most liked team across the NHL if fans had to vote only for their second favourite team.
With the potential of five playoff teams from North of the border competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs, this theory will be put to the test.
Should the Jets make some noise and find themselves the last Canadian team standing, the majority of Canada will throw their support behind the Jets – much like they have for the Canadiens, Canucks, Oilers and Flames in the past.
Of course that’s a lot of ifs and what ifs.
We know that the Whiteout will return (Thank You True North!!)
We know that the Jets will either be facing Anaheim or St. Louis depending how they finish up.
We know that Pavlec will be the man and the Jets playoff hopes will likely depend on if he continues to play like the goalie that has responded to letting in a long shot from the red line by being Carey Price like.
Most importantly, we know that the Jets are not going to be overlooked or considered an easy knockout.
To be fair I’m not sure there is a scenario that will exist in the first round where we will see a huge favourite. Maybe in the East with how Boston, Detroit and Pittsburgh have struggled down the stretch, but how could you really count out any of those teams once the second season starts?
Winnipeg’s patience and support may payoff while Kevin Chevaldayoff has built a team through the draft and a couple of nice trades. His free agent signings this offseason haven’t been given enough credit for the post season birth as it’s been overshadowed by his performance leading up to the trade deadline.
The decision to bring in Matthieu Perrault instead of Oli Jokinenen has been huge.
His signing of Hutchinson last year has single handedly saved the Jets season. Could you imagine what our record may be with Budaj behind Pavlec?
The Jets, as we all know, added key pieces via trade while only removing one active roster player and added two bright prospects to their pool.
The Jets will make noise in the playoffs.
The fans will bring white noise for the first time ever to the MTS Centre.
How far they go, time will tell, but the fans will have their first taste of what should become a regular occurrence.
Playoff hockey is something that Jets fans will now expect and with the talent waiting in the wings and the track record for identifying and developing their prospects, we could easily look back in ten years and say this is where it started.
This is where we became a cup contender.
One thing is for sure, we will definitely say this is when the whiteout returned.
Become an MVP with Winnipeg Whiteout and never miss a thing.