WINNIPEG – There's snow in the forecast here Monday.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are returning to Winnipeg for the first time in 19 years, and there's a whiteout in the air.
When the Winnipeg Jets host the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series at MTS Centre on Monday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, PRIME), nearly two decades of pent-up playoff fanaticism will be unleashed
Anticipation here is high. And just like his fellow residents, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman can't wait.
"We've waited about two decades for this, 19 years to be exact, to celebrate our Jets in the playoffs," Bowman told NHL.com last week. "The excitement's pretty thick in the air. You can really feel it across the city."
Bowman, 43, said he was in the crowd at the old Winnipeg Arena in 1996, the last time the Jets were in the playoffs, attending one of the home games of their first-round series loss to the Detroit Red Wings. He cut up some white garbage bags back then to make homemade pompoms as part of the whiteout, a playoff tradition that began in Winnipeg and has since been adopted in other NHL cities.