Winnipeg Jets forwards Patrik Laine , Mark Scheifele and Mason Appleton’s playoff run came to an end late Wednesday, after taking part in just one game. The three forwards did not play tonight in Game 4 of the Jets’ Qualifier Series against the Calgary Flames, in which Winnipeg was eliminated in a 4-0 loss.
Many insiders believed it would have been the biggest upset of the playoff tournament if the Jets had been able to beat the Flames after losing Laine and Scheifele.
The Jets are the second team to get eliminated from the postseason, the first in the Western Conference.
When the Flames and Jets met at centre ice to exchange fist bumps - in this new COVID-19 era - the moment was very, very brief. Matthew Tkachuk made an effort to share words with some rival players, but the fist bumps line didn't last long. Maybe some Jets players were still upset about having lost their best teammates early in the run. However, Blake Wheeler and Mark Giordano did take the time to congratulate one another.
Scheifele left the Jets’ Game 1 loss to the Flames early in the first period after a collision against the boards with Tkachuk. The Jets’ star centre was in visible pain immediately after the collision and had to be helped off the ice because he couldn’t put any weight on his left leg. Laine exited the game mid-way through the third period holding his left hand after a collision with Flames captain Mark Giordano and winger Sam Bennett. Both Scheifele and Laine saw specialists last Sunday to further evaluate their injuries. Neither played in Game 2 or 3 of the series.
Jets head coach Paul Maurice did not mince his words and blame Tkachuk of going after his star player with a dirty move. He even dared to say it could have resulted in a career-ending injury.
It was easy to tell Maurice wasn’t happy about congratulating some of the Flames’ players, who awaited their opponents for the first round of the postseason. At this point, they could face any of the 4 in the Round Robin.