Jets in Turtle Derby in Southeast Division

Winnipeg Jets center Kyle Wellwood (l) and Florida Panthers defenceman Dmitry Kulikov tangle during...

Winnipeg Jets center Kyle Wellwood (l) and Florida Panthers defenceman Dmitry Kulikov tangle during NHL hockey in Winnipeg, Man. Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. BRIAN DONOGH/WINNIPEG SUN/QMI AGENCY

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:31 PM ET

The door is open. It’s up to the Winnipeg Jets to walk through it — or stumble on the threshold and watch as someone slams it in their face.

There will be no better opportunity for the Jets to earn a playoff spot than there is now, in this lockout-shortened season that just became even more up-for-grabs in the NHL’s poor-sister division.

If the Southeast wasn’t already the cream puff of them all, it just got a little softer, with the loss of its top goalie on the weekend.

Word of the division-leading Carolina Hurricanes being without Cam Ward for the next six to eight weeks puts a whole new spin on the turtle derby of hockey, where just one team is playing better than .500 hockey and residing above the playoff line.

This “race” just became three-legged. Whoever hobbles over the line, first, gets the spoils.

Leading the way, for now, Carolina’s modest 25 points, four more than Winnipeg.

 


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