Fans of the Winnipeg Jets say the 2011-12 season will be one to remember, even though their team won't make it to the NHL playoffs.

The Jets were officially eliminated from the playoff race after losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in overtime on Saturday.

It's a less than ideal ending for what has been a fairytale season, in which Winnipeg welcomed back an NHL team after an absence of more than 15 years.

"I have hope for next year — it's their first year and everything," Jets fan Kevin Gilmour told CBC News on Sunday.

"It's sad … but it's still an exciting year, and I've loved watching every single minute of the games."

With Saturday's loss, the Jets sit in 10th place in the NHL's Eastern Conference. Even if they win their next three games, the team will still fall short of eighth place.

The Jets will stay on the road this week, with games against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday and the New York Islanders on Thursday.

The team will then return to Winnipeg for its final game of the season — a rematch against Tampa Bay — at the MTS Centre on April 7.

With Winnipeg out of playoff contention, the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks are the only Canadian teams that will make the run for the Stanley Cup.