Winnipeg Jets fans look to the past as they await NHL playoffs
Fans excited to see home team vie for Stanley Cup for 1st time in 19 years
Winnipeg Jets fans are eagerly gearing up for the NHL playoffs, from lifelong superfans to those who thought they'd never see the team back in the city, never mind in the postseason.
The Jets secured a wild card spot on Thursday, despite losing to the Colorado Avalanche in a shootout, after the Calgary Flames eliminated the Los Angeles Kings from playoff contention.
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Fans are now giddy about seeing the home team battle it out, on home ice, for the Stanley Cup for the first time in 19 years.
"Winnipeg is already known as the loudest building in the NHL … because the pandemonium starts before the warm-ups. The pandemonium starts on the streets and in the concourse as soon as the doors open."
The Jets are making their first playoff appearance since the franchise relocated from Atlanta for the 2011-12 season.
The previous Jets franchise, which moved to Arizona, appeared in the postseason for the last time in 1996.
Burnett, whose basement is full of Jets memorabilia dating back to 1978, said he remembers his mother taking him to his first playoff game. He also recalls the original Jets' last playoff run in 1996.
Meredith Steed said she remembers her mother standing in line for two hours to buy tickets so they could see the Jets take on the Detroit Red Wings during the '96 playoffs.
"My mom getting us these tickets, going to see the last game, seeing them skate around, and I never thought that I'd ever see that again," she said. "So it's pretty exciting."
Steed said she hopes to take her sons, age 10 and 14, to their first playoff game at the MTS Centre.
Jets pride across the city
Signs of playoff pride could be seen across Winnipeg on Friday.
For example, a Jets flag was planted atop a crane at a downtown construction site.
Over at the Grant Park Shopping Centre, a young fan named Dante Santarsieri decided to show off his Jets pride by getting the team logo — colours and all — incorporated into his haircut at the Modern Man barbershop.
And High Tea Bakery has introduced its own roster of cookies decorated to look like Jets jerseys.
Playoffs!!!!!!!! In the spirit of things, we've whipped up some jersey cookies that will be in our front counter... <a href="http://t.co/PxyRdXtR9l">http://t.co/PxyRdXtR9l</a>—@HighTeaBakery