Welcome to Friendly Manitoba…Until You Play Our Hockey Team

Winnipeg Jets
Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes I still can’t believe the Winnipeg Jets are back.  When the website jetsowner.com came to people’s attention, I admit to nay saying like everyone else.  The team left and all I could do was move on, with the memories of attended games sometimes told as stories over some gathering.

When the Jets were in town, I spent money as a student to go to games if I didn’t go with a friend of mine with family season tickets.  My last Jets game was against the Red Wings in 1995.  I bought prime seats right as soon as Select-a-Seat started selling tickets for the games.  How else could I sit right next to the Wings bench to get up close and personal with Steve Yzerman.  I think tickets were $92.00 for such seats.  Unfortunately, even with a good job, I can’t get on board with the season ticket plan.  Plus Steve Yzerman, like many of his contemporaries, are now retired.  I grew up with the NHL as the league of Gretzky, Lemieux, and Yzerman now it’s the league of Crosby, Stamkos, and Ovechkin. (Throw in a little Malkin, Toews, and Lindstrom for good measure.)

The crowds sure have not changed.  I admit to cheering so loud with a friend at a Jets/Blues game, the people in front of us turned to give dirty looks.  (We didn’t even say horrible things questioning the sexuality of Swedish players like I witnessed during previous game. )  Now the boisterous crowds get noticed by news outlets and profiled as part of an Sports Illustrated article on the Jets’ return.  Now whole crowds will not chant something questioning a player’s sexuality.  It crude, rude, and we have a reputation as a friendly province.

Everything else is fair game.  Take for example one Alexander Ovechkin.  This season saw Ovie largely nowhere to be found.  Plus the Winnipeg fans reminded him who really rules this league:

(Courtesy of Hockeyvideo HD YouTube Chanel)
No surprise the Jets beat the Caps in that game. Now if we can only bottle that energy for the road.

But wait…

Ovie isn’t the only one to get mocked by the crowd.   Presenting exhibit B one Ryan Miller, goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres.  While he minds the pipes for his team, memories of the Crosby ‘golden goal’ still remain fresh in our minds. (Poor dude was the guy in net for the US team.)   Jets fans thought it would be best to remind Mr. Miller in case he forgot about the moment:

(Courtesy of Puck Daddy’s YouTube Channel)

Right now the Jets are in hot pursuit for a play off spot and the win against the Capitals helped pull the spot within reach.  Do I think they will make the play offs?  If they played at home all the time then it’s a yes.  It’s playing on the road that’s troubling the team.  Whether they make the play offs, or not, the season is already successful.  Winnipeggers are happy to have a NHL team again and that’s already a win.

 

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