Winnipeg Jets can't use youth as an excuse, veterans say

Jets assistant captain Mark Stuart says the team is not really any younger than anyone else and...

Jets assistant captain Mark Stuart says the team is not really any younger than anyone else and can't use their age as an excuse for not making the playoffs.

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:30 PM ET

Yes, the Winnipeg Jets are one of the youngest teams in the NHL.

But a couple of veterans say nobody should be using that decimal point or two as a crutch for not taking that next step and making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“I don’t like that term, ‘young,’ ” defenceman Mark Stuart said, Sunday. “I mean, everybody’s young in this league, now. You can’t really use that. If you keep telling yourself you’re young, it’s kind of a built-in excuse. The guys that are young in age on our team have matured a lot this year.”

Olli Jokinen sung a similar tune, the morning after a 3-2 loss to Carolina on home ice put yet another dent in the Jets’ nearly unrecognizable post-season chances.

“You can’t (hide) behind youth,” Jokinen said. “It’s more you’ve got to be mentally strong, to stick with your game plan no matter what happens. You can’t start playing the way the other team is playing. Carolina had nothing to lose and they were taking chances, playing a high-risk game.


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