Jets bullish about next season but looking forward to rest and regroup

Winnipeg Jets players say they know expectations are high for the team next season, and they are concentrating on doing it all again for 2018/19.

Players dish on the playoff experience, being part of the whiteout and the beard

Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Paul Stastny speak to media Tuesday. (Fernand Detillieux/CBC)

Winnipeg Jets players say they know expectations are high for the team next season, and they are concentrating on doing it all again for 2018/19.

Players cleaned out their lockers Tuesday and then spoke with media at Bell MTS Place. Here's what some of them had to say about:

Next season's expectations

"I think what you learn … is that you don't come into training camp saying 'OK, let's win the Stanley Cup this year.' There's so much that goes into that and I think that's what we learned this year. The day-in-day-out is what makes a good team a great team. We learned how to do that. We learned how to practise the right way with the intention and the goal of getting better every single day … there's going to be expectations coming into next year … but we're not going to reach our goals on Day 1 of training camp." — Blake Wheeler

'I'll take only positives away from this year': Blake Wheeler on Jets' season

5 years ago
Duration 0:54
Winnipeg Jet Blake Wheeler reflects on the season and the NHL playoffs.

"I certainly think that the success that we had this year is going to bring a higher expectation. Looking at our group, I would confidently say that every guy thinks we have the group to do it." — Tyler Myers

​"The experience alone I think is going to help us. It's not easy going this far and not making it, but at the same time there's a lot of guys who this is a new experience for them, and I think that experience is going to pay off." — Bryan Little

'We just got to remember how hard it was to get to this point'

5 years ago
Duration 0:31
Bryan Little on playoff experience.

What they learned in the playoffs

"I think just the way the momentum can switch and the ups and downs of it. You go through it and it's just like an emotional roller coaster through the series. You're on top the world when you're up and then you lose a game and it feels like it's over … for me, it's just having fun. We didn't feel pressure in our room to go out there and win the Stanley Cup. We were just enjoying it." —  Bryan Little

"You hear how hard the playoffs are and the grind of going through it. It's everything you hear about but you don't really know until you experience it." — Jacob Trouba

Bumps, bruises and getting healthy again

"I'd like to just take a pill and have my body go back to what it was when I was 15 years old or something. I definitely have to take care of it this summer 'cause I wouldn't want to go through another season with missing so much time because of all the injuries. Definitely a big summer to kind of revamp the body a little bit." — Steve Mason

"Probably the best decision I made': Paul Stastny on joining team

5 years ago
Duration 1:04
Paul Stastny talks about why joining the Winnipeg Jets was the right choice.

"Blocking shots and getting in the tough areas is part of the playoffs … there's a lot of ice packs for sure throughout the playoffs … it does take a physical toll on the body for sure. Everyone's got little things going on but that's part of the playoff hockey." — Josh Morrissey

"The [missed game] in Vegas was pretty much the flu. I just wasn't feeling well, lying in bed the whole day for two days straight with no energy. I wanted to play, I wasn't able to eat much … you're not sure you can help the team. It was a tough decision. Everybody hates not playing in the conference final. I was trying my hardest to play but I wasn't there." — Nikolaj Ehlers​

'Everybody was with us, we're in the playoffs as a city'

5 years ago
Duration 0:54
Winnipeg Jet Nikolaj Ehlers on playoffs and the whiteout that took over the city.

​The whiteout

"It's pretty incredible. We know we have terrific fans and we know we have terrific support, but every game it seemed like the whiteout party was getting bigger and more and more people were getting on board … walking through the grocery store, people were wearing their jerseys on our off days, just driving down the street and everyone's got their hat on." — Adam Lowry

Their teammates

"Toby's the best. He's one of the more easygoing guys to get to know in a room. He's done so much for this team and this organization … I think it's pretty safe to say every guy in the room appreciates Toby Enstrom. He's a guy I'll look up to no matter what happens going forward here."  — Tyler Myers

"Huge. You know, personally, I think I learned a lot from [Paul Stastny] He's a really smart hockey player, great hockey sense, knows when to do things and when not to. Off the ice he's a great guy too. Works hard, talks to everyone, every single day, he's happy." —  Nikolaj Ehlers

Patrik Laine's beard became something of a sensation over the Jets' playoff run. (Fernand Detillieux/CBC)

"I couldn't have been more impressed with [Connor Hellebuyck] all season long. Just the overall consistency that he had. He played well in the playoffs, gave the team a chance to win, but Vegas found a way … I don't think anybody's going to look back on playoffs and be like, 'Connor didn't play well.'" — Steve Mason

The infamous playoff beard

"I got my [hairdresser] who cuts my hair, she's going to cut my beard too on Friday, at 2, back home. Couple more days. Yay, finally." — Patrik Laine

How much longer will Patrik Laine's beard last?

5 years ago
Duration 0:39
Winnipeg Jet Patrik Laine on staying in Winnipeg and when the playoff beard is coming off.


Elisha Dacey


Elisha Dacey was a journalist with CBC Manitoba. She is the former managing editor of Metro Winnipeg and her work has been seen in newspapers from coast to coast.