Jets Using ‘Fraud’ Comments as Motivation to Begin Playoffs

Winnipeg Jets

Getty Jets using fraud comments as motivation.

The Winnipeg Jets are ready to prove their doubters wrong in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Jets finished second in the Central Division with a record of 52-24-6 and will play the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. However, in early March before the playoffs began, one unnamed player told former NHLer and current co-host of the “Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast Ryan Whitney that he felt like the Jets were “frauds.”

Jets forward Nikolai Ehlers told the media on April 21 that, as reporter John Lu put it, the team is using the disparaging comments as “bulletin board material” to provide inspiration for the playoffs.

“I had a player in the NHL on a team currently sitting in a playoff spot tell me that the Winnipeg Jets are the biggest frauds in the league and that they’ll lose in the first round. … He goes, ‘They are not nearly as good as anyone says,'” Whitney said.

Whitney went on to add that the player is on a Western Conference team and could play the Jets in the playoffs. However, Whitney wouldn’t reveal who the player was.

Heading into Winnipeg’s first-round series against Colorado, Ehlers spoke to the media and confirmed the team is using that as motivation.

“There’s been some talk, obviously, that maybe we aren’t where we’re supposed to be, and we know that we are. So, we wanna show ourselves and prove to each and every guy in here that we got what it takes to be a Stanley Cup champion,” Ehlers said to the media. “That starts tonight [April 21]. So, there is a lot of belief in this room and we want to go out and show that.”

The Jets did have success against Colorado in the regular season beating the Avs in all three meetings.

Jets Enter Playoffs With ‘Something to Prove’

Winnipeg lost in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs to the eventual champions the Vegas Golden Knights.

Head coach Rick Bowness says the Jets have been motivated all year to prove the team can succeed in the playoffs.

“I felt it all year, they wanted to prove that they were better than last year. … They know they have something to prove. It didn’t sit well with them over the summer how we exited last season, so that’s a good thing. That was the message, really, it comes down to that, don’t go home and feel good about your season after the way we played in the playoffs, it wasn’t good enough,” Bowness said on April 20.

“Even if we hadn’t lost that series, we had to play harder. From the beginning of training camp, this has been a very committed group, and a tighter group, there’s no question. The guys we brought in have fit right in,” Bowness continued.

Before losing to Vegas in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs, Winnipeg failed to make the playoffs in the 2021-22 season.

Jets vs. Avalanche Playoff Schedule

Winnipeg will have home-ice advantage in their first-round matchup against Colorado. The schedule is as follows:

  • Game 1: Sunday, April 21 – Colorado at Winnipeg — 5:00 p.m. Eastern time
  • Game 2: Tuesday, April 23 – Colorado at Winnipeg — 9:30 p.m. Eastern time
  • Game 3: Friday, April 26 – Winnipeg at Colorado — 10:00 p.m. Eastern time
  • Game 4: Sunday, April 28 – Winnipeg at Colorado — 2:30 p.m. Eastern time
  • Game 5 (if necessary): Tuesday, April 30 – Colorado at Winnipeg — TBD
  • Game 6 (if necessary): Thursday, May 2 – Winnipeg at Colorado — TBD
  • Game 7 (if necessary): Saturday, May 4 – Colorado at Winnipeg — TBD

The winner of the Jets vs. Avalanche will play the winner of the Dallas Stars vs. Golden Knights in the second round.

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