But the Jets and their fans only had a cold, damp rain and dashed hopes for spring hockey when they wiped away the sleep from their eyes following Monday's 6-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators.
"Today is a hard day for the players and the staff, too," Jets coach Claude Noel said as the club gathered at the MTS Centre for an optional practice 12 hours after the loss to Ottawa.
Back-to-back wins against Dallas and Washington had pulled the Winnipeg Jets to within two points of the Eastern Conference's eighth slot on March 17. But a sloppy home loss to Carolina the following night began the club's fall out of playoff contention. A 1-2-0 road trip followed before the loss to Ottawa that left the Jets a frustrated bunch as the last vestiges of postseason aspirations departed Winnipeg.