Sixteen years ago, the Atlanta Thrashers were founded with the hope that this franchise would be different from several others that couldn’t find hockey success in the Capital of the South. Sixteen years later, this experiment is still failing, in a different country.
The Winnipeg Jets – formerly the Thrashers – are still looking for their first postseason victory. Not a series victory, any victory at all. After 16 years, this franchise has no wins and seven losses to its postseason resume.
But it’s not just that they’re losing; they’re losing in the most heartbreaking fashion you could imagine.
Remember the only time the Thrashers made the playoffs? They were the No. 1 seed in their division in the 2007 playoffs, only to be swept out of the first round by the eighth-seeded New York Rangers. Eleven seasons in Atlanta, no playoff wins.
Now, the Jets are in the playoffs for the first time since the franchise moved to Winnipeg four seasons ago.
It isn’t going well.
In Game 1 against the Anaheim Ducks, the Jets took a 2-1 lead into the final period, only to surrender three goals and the game in the final period.
Oh, and before the series even started, Andrew Ladd (remember him, Thrashers fans?) slipped on a puck and took out his own goalie, Ondrej Pavelec (remember him, Thrashers fans?), and this buffoonery ensued:
In Game 2, the Jets held a 1-0 lead with less than 10 minutes to play when they surrendered a goal. Then they gave up another … with 21 seconds left in the game. 2-0 Ducks.
Game 3 brought much of the same frustrations for Winnipeg. Leading 4-3 with just two and a half minutes left in the game, it looked like the Jets were going to eek out their first postseason victory. But the Ducks scored with 2:14 left in the game, then scored again in overtime. 3-0 Ducks.
It isn’t just that the Thrashers/Jets lose games. It’s how they’ve lost games. Only this time, most former Thrashers fans aren’t so sad to see it happening.
Image: AP/Chris Carlson