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Copp looks to build off strong season

Michigan product set career-high with 11 goals in 2018-19

by Tyler Esquivel @TylerAEsquivel / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - It's safe to Andrew Copp entered the 2018-19 season a motivated player. 

"I haven't forgotten about what happened at the end of last year," said Copp on Sept. 26, 2018 in reference to being scratched in Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights in what turned out to be Winnipeg's final game of the season. 

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Jets reflect on 2018-19 season after exit interviews

"We had our challenges, we didn't get to where we needed to get to." -Maurice

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - The vibe around the exit meetings at the conclusion of the Winnipeg Jets 2018-19 season was much different than a season ago.

But if you ask head coach Paul Maurice, this season may have been more beneficial to the young Jets roster than making it all the way to the Western Conference Final in 2018.

"I think we've probably learned a hell of a lot more this year than we learned last year about how hard this thing is and the sacrifices that our group - as a pretty gifted offensive group - have to make to the overall team winning," Maurice said.

That doesn't take the sting out of the First Round loss to the St. Louis Blues, which wrapped up two nights ago at Enterprise Center in Game 6.

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Season of growth for Laine and Ehlers

Laine: "That's probably some of the best hockey that I've played."

by Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV / Winnipeg Jets

WINNIPEG - Like the rest of the team, the season ended far too soon for young stars Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers.

Both suffered injuries in Game 5 of the opening round series against the St. Louis Blues - making their status questionable for what turned out to be Winnipeg's final game of the season.

Ehlers blocked a shot in the final minute of Game 5 and was visibly in distress and during the team's final media availability he provided clarity on his injury. The Danish forward had a micro fracture in his leg and said it was challenging to play on Saturday in St. Louis.

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Jets season ends with Game 6 loss in St. Louis

Byfuglien, Little score in 3-2 loss

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

ST. LOUIS, Missouri - Game 6 between the Winnipeg Jets and the St. Louis Blues was the first of the series not to see a single lead change.

Unfortunately for the Jets, that meant the end of their season.

Jaden Schwartz opened the scoring 23 seconds into the first period and the Blues never looked back, defeating the Jets 3-2 in the game, and winning the series four games to two. Dustin Byfuglien and Bryan Little scored for the Jets in the loss.

"This is a tough trophy to win. Maybe our best just wasn't good enough today. Their best was pretty darn good," said captain Blake Wheeler. "In situations like that you look for the resolve in your group, you look for how guys fight, and we played until the last whistle. That's the way I see it."

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Millard's Five Storylines: Game 6

Perreault-Hayes-Roslovic a strong trio heading into Game 6

by Daren Millard @darenmillard / WinnipegJets.com

1. There's a saying. "It's not how you start but how you finish." That phrase is haunting the Jets right now as the third period has become Winnipeg's achilles heel. In the first five games of the series, the Blues have scored nine goals in the final period of regulation. Compare that to four by the Jets. Using the equation that determines a netminder's goals-against average, Connor Hellebuyck's third-period number is 5.40. However, while it hasn't received nearly as much attention,  Winnipeg has been spectacular over the first two periods of the series. Three times Hellebuyck has been perfect in the games opening forty minutes, surrendering just a single goal one other time. Hellebuyck's goals-against average in the 40 minutes to start, a stingy 1.20. That type of performance would suggest a much better fate than the Jets' occupy.  

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Jets remain poised ahead of crucial Game Six

Trouba: "You gotta be honest with yourself and know your back is against the wall and find a way to get the series back to Winnipeg."

by Daren Millard @darenmillard / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - Most everyone has experienced the relief of waking up from a nightmare, able to take a deep breath knowing whatever had scared us, had not happened. Not so for Andrew Copp who opened his eyes with the reality of three games to two deficit staring he and his teammates in the face.  

"Waking up was a little tough this morning,"  admitted Andrew Copp on Friday afternoon.

"But you get breakfast, you get packed a little bit and you starting to look forward."   

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GAME DAY: Jets at Blues (Game 6)

6:00 pm CT - TV: CBC, SN; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

ST. LOUIS, Missouri - As a team, the Winnipeg Jets might be young, but the experience they gained during last year's playoffs could pay dividends tonight in Game 6 against the St. Louis Blues.

Winnipeg trails the best-of-seven series 3-2, but they know they can perform in big games, just as they did in Nashville in 2018 in Game 7.

Back on that night, the Jets were coming off a tough loss, just as they are tonight.

"We got beat 4-0 on an empty net in Game 6. It was that feeling 'we have to go back now.' Postgame it's a terrible place to be in that room," said Jets head coach Paul Maurice. "The next day, there is tension but you start to build. By the time we got to Game 7, we're going out there and they're smiling and they're excited. We're trying to recreate that now."

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Jets-Blues series living up to expectations

Copp: "I would say it's as tight (as I expected) and it feels like more than just a First Round matchup."

by Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV / Winnipeg Jets

WINNIPEG - With the way Game 5 ended on Thursday night, the Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues series became one of the more unique matchups in NHL history.

The Blues won 3-2 on a late goal from Jayden Schwartz and Jets fans left Bell MTS Place with another empty feeling. Winnipeg and St. Louis are now the fourth best-of-seven series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history in which the road team won each of the first five games. The others: the 1951 Semifinals (MTL-DET), 1995 Conference Finals (NJD-PHI) and 2004 Conference Finals (CGY-SJS). A best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series has never featured the road team winning each of the first six games.

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Jets can't hold off third period rally, fall to Blues in Game 5

Lowry, Hayes score for Jets; Hellebuyck makes 26 saves

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - For the fifth time in the series between the Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues, the team that won the game trailed at some point during the course of regulation.

Unfortunately for the Winnipeg Jets, they were the victims of the comeback in Game 5.

Adam Lowry and Kevin Hayes gave the Jets a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes, but three third period goals from the visiting Blues - including the game-winner with 15 seconds left in regulation - gave St. Louis a 3-2 win, and a 3-2 series lead.

"It's 2-0 at home going into the third. Playoffs are a funny thing. You lose momentum and it can swing in a heartbeat," said Blake Wheeler. "It's all about how we manage the next 24 to 48 hours. We're a confident group, we know we can win a game."

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Laine's game continues to impress

Maurice: "Game 4 was the best game he has played as a Winnipeg Jet."

by Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - For nearly three years the Winnipeg Jets have been working on Patrik Laine's all round game - teaching him how he can be an effective player even when he doesn't score.

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