Apr 12, 2023
The Winnipeg Jets have clinched a playoff spot!
The NHL playoffs are fast approaching and the Winnipeg Jets are hanging on by a thread.
In the Western Conference, they are in a very close race with the Calgary Flames for the last wild card spot. The Jets have a game in hand over the Flames, as well as two more points. If they can eke out another win, the playoff spot is theirs!
As the second half of the season progressed, I was worried about the team even having a chance to make it in the playoff rounds. They were looking worse for wear a few weeks back, but the past few games have been played a whole lot better.
The last win they had looked phenomenal against the San Jose Sharks, but they aren’t a playoff team this year, so that was not a great indicator of their performance going into the postseason.
It is the next two games that will really matter. They will be facing off against the first and third teams in the central division in the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild. Both of those teams are grappling for top of the division, so these are likely going to be some tough games to end the season.
Things are even closer over in the Eastern Conference wild card race.
Three teams with a spread of two points are in contention for the final two spots. The Florida Panthers and New York Islanders are currently sitting in the first and second wild card spots with 92 and 91 points in 81 games. The Pittsburgh Penguins are sitting just outside the picture with 90 points but have 80 games played.
The Buffalo Sabres even have a slim chance themselves if these other teams fail to pick up points as they need three straight wins to finish the season to even hope to make the playoffs. The Eastern Conference will be tightly contested as the last few games of the season are played.
I am hoping the Jets don’t falter at the finish line. Even if they get swept first round, I want to see them play some postseason hockey!
I will be glued to the remaining games around the league this week as the positioning is finalized. Many of the teams are looking to clinch their division and conference still, except for the Bruins, who handily dominated the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.
Note: The Winnipeg Jets have officially clinched a playoff spot with the incredible win over the Minnesota Wild last night (after the paper was sent for publishing)