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WINNIPEG Youth Alex McGough Jersey , Manitoba — It was 8,015 days between playoff wins in Winnipeg and the city’s rabid fan base is hoping they’ll only have to wait 48 hours for the next one.
The Jets defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Wednesday night, earning their first win in franchise history and a 1-0 series lead. The two teams will be back at it on Friday night at Bell MTS Place.
The last time Winnipeg hockey fans witnessed a home victory was a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings at the old Winnipeg Arena on April 21, 1996. The Jets lost that first-round series 4-2 and then packed up for the Arizona desert, where they were reborn as the Phoenix Coyotes.
Wednesday’s tilt was a predictably physical affair, with 70 hits being thrown, nearly double the average of 39 from the teams’ regular-season games. The biggest, not surprisingly, was thrown by hulking Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who smoked Wild forward Joel Eriksson-Ek with a shoulder-on-shoulder hit in the first period, sending more than 15,300 white-clad fans into a frenzy.
Some of them also wore white face paint while others were decked out with white hair extensions or wigs Zack Martin Jersey Womens , but whatever their accessories, they successfully re-enacted the “White Out,” which first gained popularity back in the mid-1980s with the original franchise.
Jets captain Blake Wheeler said in a press scrum after practice on Thursday that it wasn’t surprising that bad blood would be spilled so early in the series. Wheeler, of course, fought his own teammate, defenseman Ben Chiarot, at practice a few weeks ago.
“That’s kind of the way it looks in the playoffs. The first period’s a bit helter-skelter and guys are laying the wood a little bit. The second period was more physical. Buff had a huge hit. They had some guys make some big hits. That’s the way it’s going to be,” Wheeler said.
The recipient of several of those hits, Winnipeg forward Mathieu Perreault left the game in the second period and will be a game-time decision Friday for coach Paul Maurice.
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, who guided the Anaheim Ducks to a four-game sweep of the Jets in 2015, said with Devan Dubnyk withstanding a barrage of rubber in net, they had a chance to win when they took a brief 2-1 lead early in the third period.
“You can’t give 29 (Patrik Laine) a chance right down the slot to score on a turnover. You’re looking for disaster there Falcons Logan Paulsen Jersey ,” Boudreau told a media scrum. “He deked our player, we didn’t hold the middle and he got to come right down Main Street. And when he does that, he’s shooting the puck. When he shoots the puck, every chance, it’s got a chance to go in.”
If Perreault is unable to answer the bell, it’s expected rookie Jack Roslovic will step into the lineup.
Winnipeg will also be without defensemen Toby Enstrom, Dmitry Kulikov and center Matt Hendricks.
The biggest name in the Wild’s sick bay is workhorse defenseman Ryan Suter, who is out indefinitely with a broken fibula.
In their search for a franchise quarterback, the New York Jets will work out Wyoming's Josh Allen in the next week and don't plan to have a private session with Southern California's Sam Darnold.
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said Monday at the NFL meetings that the organization has had "quite a bit of exposure" to Darnold, and bringing in any player for a predraft workout is "no big shocker."
New York traded up from the sixth overall spot to No. 3. Unlike acting owner Christopher Johnson, who the previous day pretty much affirmed a quarterback would be the choice, Maccagnan wasn't dropping any hints.
"We acted a little early on it Cheap Customized Indianapolis Colts Jerseys ," Maccagnan said of the deal with Indianapolis that also cost the Jets three second-round picks. "We felt good about our research, inquired with other teams ... three is a position we're comfortable being in. We feel very good about what may potentially be there at No. 3 and feel we can control our destiny."
The price tag wasn't too steep, either, Maccagnan emphasized, noting the Jets kept their 2019 first-rounder.
As for which of the top quarterback prospects the Jets might be targeting 鈥?UCLA's Josh Rosen and Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield are considered the others 鈥?Maccagnan was mum.
Same with whether Penn State running back Saquon Barkley or North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb, and everyone else in next month's draft.
He did say the Jets spoke with Cleveland about the top spot, but not with their fellow owners of MetLife Stadium, the Giants, concerning the No. 2 position. While the Browns are widely expected to go for a quarterback, new Giants coach Pat Shurmur has thrown his support behind veteran Eli Manning. The Giants also could trade down, lifting a team with quarterback needs above the Jets.
Maccagnan isn't losing sleep over that prospect, though he recognizes the need to find that franchise quarterback.
"Until you acquire that Isaiah Wynn Youth Jersey , you are constantly looking to find one," he said. "Our focus is to identify and acquire one of those; it may be someone on the roster, or elsewhere."
Currently on the roster are four quarterbacks: journeyman Josh McCown, who comes off a strong year shortened by a broken left hand in December; Teddy Bridgewater, signed in free agency in his comeback from a severe knee injury in Minnesota; and 2017 backups Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. If you see a franchise quarterback in that group, please let Maccagnan know.
Maccagnan further explained the Jets' withdrawal of a contract offer to Ndamukong Suh, the standout (and expensive) defensive tackle cut by Miami this month. Johnson said Sunday it had been rescinded.
"We extended an offer and there was a deadline and it passed," Maccagnan said. "We had to determine if we wanted to stay in or pull out and we pulled out.
"He's a very good player. You watch on tape and he still has the ability to be dominant. We felt good about potentially having him on our roster. It was a one-year contract; we could potentially add him and evaluate it a year from now."
Not committing to Suh helps keep the Jets far under the salary cap heading toward 2019. It's conceivable they could have more money than any team next offseason, perhaps $100 million in space.
"It's hard to predict," Maccagnan said, "but in every free agency there are good values to be had."