As part of our “Season in Review” series, I’ll be recapping the memorable games of the 2011-12 Winnipeg Jets inaugural season.
In the last post, I took a look at “The Games That Got Away”, this post is the exact opposite of that.
These were the games that were never in hand, the games that weren’t even a game at all, the games that were just degrading to watch as a Jets fan.
Oct 9 2011 vs. Montreal – Montreal 5 Winnipeg 1
It was the first regular season NHL game played in Winnipeg in fifteen years. It was a celebration of NHL’s return to Winnipeg.
However, the joy of Winnipeg fans went sour 3:05 into the game when Mike Cammalleri quieted the fans with the first goal of the game.
The Jets looked unorganized, unskilled, they were reminiscente of the District 5 Ducks (The Mighty Ducks before Gordon Bombay became Head Coach and got them new equipment).
Carey Price had brought his “A” game stopping all shots in the first two periods. Going into the third period we thought of the worst possible scenario, what if the Jets didn’t score in their first game.
Nik Antropov gave fans a reason to cheer at 2:27 into the 3rd. The iconic goal would be immortalized on a postage stamp and remembered by Jets fans forever.
Even though the Jets had been dominated, fans gave the new team a standing ovation as they skated off the ice.
Jan 4, 2012 @ MTL – Montreal 7 Winnipeg 3
Jan 5, 2012 @ Toronto – Toronto 4 Winnipeg 0
The Jets had just finished their ultra-successful December home-stand. Things were looking up for the team after New Years.
But the Jets would get a reality check after New Years in back to back thrashings by their Canadian Rivals.
The first night in Montreal, a nationally televised game on TSN saw the Jets get worked again by those pesky Canadiens. Lars Eller was the star of the evening with four goals. The fourth goal came on a penalty shot against Chris Mason (who had just entered the game).
As a Jets fan, there is nothing more degrading than
a) Having your team get blown out
b) Having your team get blown out on national television
c) Having an opposing player score a hat trick
d) Watching the opposing fans celebrate and rain down hats.
e) Then watching the opposing player score a fourth goal on a penalty shot spin-o-rama where the goalie looked completely helpless (adding insult to injury, falling on top of the goalie after said goal)
f) Finally, seeing that highlight over and over throughout the season on SportsCentre as the highlight of the night, play of the week, and goal of the year.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse, the Jets went to Toronto the next night in what surely would be a bounce back game.
It was even worse than the previous night. The Jets were shut out by “The Monster” Jonas Gustavsson and Jets fans were running for the cliff.
Dec 10, 2011 @ Detroit – Detroit 7 Winnipeg 1
The Jets were coming into this game red hot. They were on a 4 game win streak against Phoenix, New Jersey, Boston and Carolina. It was the magic of that December home-stand, where anything seemed possible.
The Jets had come out to a quick start when Bryan Little scored off of a great passing play.
But then things unraveled for the Jets. Detroit quickly took a 2-1 lead into the 2nd period, when all hell broke loose and they tacked on four more. The game was out of hand in the 3rd and Jets fans started drinking early on that Saturday night.
Jan 12, 2012 vs. San Jose – Winnipeg 0 San Jose 1
It was a Thursday night, and one of the few games I attended as a fan in the stands. I took my seat in the upper deck and hoped to experience the raucous crowd that Winnipeg is known for.
This was one of the most depressing games of the year. While the score was only 2-0, San Jose controlled most of the play and shut out the crowd.
There was little to cheer for all game and I left without experiencing the boisterous fan experience at the MTS Centre. Not to mention the Jets were now off to a 1-4 start in the month of January.
Nov 10, 2011 vs Florida – one of the few games where the team was booed while leaving the ice after a period.
Feb 27, 2012 vs. Edmonton – A game versus a lesser team in the midst of a playoff race. Lennart Petrell (who?) scored two goals.
March 20, 2012 @ Pittsburgh – Crosby and Malkin Skated circles around the team. The Pens power play dominated for x goals
Feb 5 2012 @ Montreal – It appeared that the Jets couldn’t wait to watch the Superbowl either.