WINNIPEG - Fresh off a 6-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators that put their already dwindling playoff chances in peril, the Winnipeg Jets are doing their best to deal with the disappointment as they get set to host the New York Rangers on Wednesday at MTS Centre.
“You know what, today is a hard day for the players and the staff too,” said Jets head coach Claude Noel. “I got home last night at 11:25 and there was a replay of the game. Then I come in this morning at 8:30 and there’s the replay again. Please. It’s painful.
“The disappointment of the game is really tough, tough to deal with today. Players are tired, spent, physically fatigued. Tomorrow is another day. We’ve got to regroup and they’ve got to do whatever they’ve got to do. Same with the coaching staff as well. The sun comes up, we have to get back and look forward to playing the Rangers. A good team and a new challenge. Strap it on and let’s go. That’s what you’ve got to do.”
That task might be easier said than done, but the Jets players vow they won’t be waving the white flag.
“We just have to try and finish out the season strong,” said Jets winger Evander Kane. “We can’t quit and we’re not going to. We’ve got six games left and we have to try to win them all.”
“You just try to get the two points,” added Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian. “Obviously, the games are winding down here. We have to go into every game and expect to get the two points.”
A total of 10 players hit the ice on Tuesday morning for the Jets optional skate, including forwards Nik Antropov (lower-body) and Chris Thorburn (lower-body), who are getting closer to coming back from injury.
With six games to go in the regular season, the Jets will wake up Wednesday morning and be eight points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, since the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres square off tonight.
The Rangers, who will face the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center, are battling the Pittsburgh Penguins for first overall in the Eastern Conference.