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Facts by François Gagnon |  Planes: from the white ball to the big dark

Facts by François Gagnon | Planes: from the white ball to the big dark

WINNIPEG – It's true that Jets fans stormed downtown Winnipeg and the white-coated Canada Life Center early Tuesday evening.

This big white ball was meant to motivate the favorites and help them avoid elimination, but it faded to black a few hours later as the Jets suffered their fourth straight loss at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche, who eliminated them in five small parts.

The judiciary that plunges the planes and their supporters into complete darkness.

“Sad thing!” Josh Morrissey made his first comment after the 6-3 loss he and his teammates had just suffered.

Defensive Brigade Column Morrissey then gave himself a long moment of thought before continuing.

“This elimination is really tough. It hurts me. I hope it hurts all my teammates equally so that this elimination can serve as a lesson for us. It will encourage us to work harder over the summer and work harder next year in order to allow us to succeed in the playoffs.” “We just played our best games in the series, but we don't have anything positive to learn from it.”

It's true that the Jets played their best game of the series. The match they started strong, even scoring the first goal of the match.

The only problem: The Jets' best hockey wasn't enough to compete with the Avalanche's best. really no!

The Jets dominated all aspects of the game, unable to handle the Avalanche's frequent attacks. This team was extremely tight defensively in the regular season – the best defense in the NHL is on par with the Panthers with an average of 2.41 goals allowed per game – the Jets allowed 28 goals in five playoff games, including four goals scored into an empty net, Which gives an average of 5.60 per game.

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Hellebuyck makes history

Connor Hellebuyck, who will undoubtedly win the Vezina Trophy, saw his goals against average per game rise from 2.39 in the regular season to 5.23 in five playoff games.

According to the specialized site OptaSTATS, Hellebuyck is the first goaltender in NHL history whose average goals allowed per game more than doubled once in the series.

The goalkeeper refused to answer reporters' questions after the match.

However, putting all the blame for this yet another quick elimination of the Jets in the playoffs is solely on “performance.” Connor Hellebuyck would be unfair. Because if it is true that one of the best goaltenders in the NHL was not able to make the important saves that his team desperately needed, it is also true that his teammates greatly complicated his work due to their inability to contain enemy attacks.

There are many examples of the five parts. But the fifth goal scored by the Avalanche on Tuesday night, one that gave Colorado a 5-3 lead and dramatically undermined the Jets' chances of a comeback, Nathan MacKinnon completely stunned Nino Niederreiter with his speed in organizing a two-on-one drive in and Mikko Rantanen eventually scored his second goal of the game. , his second in the series.

The speed and intensity displayed by the Avalanche picked up once they reached the playoffs. “It wasn't the same club we faced in the regular season that we beat 7-0 in the last game,” coach Rick Bowness commented after his team's fourth defeat.

“When you don't have to put part of your body on the ice to deal with the pain associated with getting hit in a playoff game, you haven't tried hard enough,” Bowness added.

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Bowness: Comeback, retirement, sacking?

Speaking of the Jets coach, will he be back next year?

The question needs to be asked. After his team was eliminated twice quickly in the first round of the playoffs, he could be fired. Especially since the next year of his contract, a third of a three-year contract, is at the discretion of his bosses.

He is 71 years old, and after a difficult season in which he had to miss his wife's stroke and also a personal health issue – kidney stones – Bowness could also decide to retire.

Especially since he is the coach with the most games behind the bench for an NHL team if we take into account his years of service as a head coach and also as an assistant coach.

“We just got knocked out in the playoffs. These questions will be addressed from time to time,” he answered simply.

However, Rick Bowness, although deeply disappointed by his club's elimination, is weathering the setback much better than last year when his team was blown out of control by the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the first round.

“The results are the same, but there's a big difference between our performance. Last year, we didn't show up. This year, we fought back. We just played the best game of our series against the Avalanche. The best of the last two series actually. I think it's unfortunate that we couldn't “Getting that kind of performance earlier. But when you look at what we've accomplished over the year, this team has made huge strides forward. There's still room for improvement, but we've grown this year and it's not a bad thing.” “For them to be like that and to be hurt by the result of the series will help them understand how ready you are to go to another level to win in the playoffs. Our opponents have just shown us that.”

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Cole Perfetti was sent into the fray for the first time in his career in the playoffs, and he had a good game.

Perfetti was nervous during his first appearance, a first-round pick (10th pick) for the Jets in 2020, and then had good streaks inside the different threes where he found himself.

This first experience will undoubtedly help him take up more space next season with the Jets.

If the future is bright for Perfetti in Winnipeg, it looks less bright for Tyler Toffoli and Sean Monahan. Both Toffoli and Monahan were acquired before the trade deadline, and will be free agents on July 1.

Although he scored a losing goal on Tuesday, Toffoli fell well short of his playoff expectations. He also appeared in the fourth trio. As for Monahan, he performed well in the regular season, but his performance also declined once the playoffs started.

The many questions raised by this yet another poor performance by the Jets will be answered once the playoffs arrive over the coming weeks.

But it is difficult to believe that the status quo will prevail.