In the world of professional sports, nothing is as painful as the agony of defeat.
Well, maybe a completely torn ACL would be worse. Or the symptoms associated with post-concussion syndrome. But I digress.
The Winnipeg Jets are looking to get themselves back in the win column after a Tuesday night loss at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens, their first after railing off three straight wins. The Jets again were content vesting in the reoccurring habit of falling behind by two goals, only to dig their way out and miraculously claim victory.
"No, no. Dig up, stupid!"
But against the Habs, there was no digging in an upward motion. Well, there was, just not enough of it. Three straight Winnipeg goals erased a 2-0 Canadiens lead, but penalty troubles led to another two Montreal markers (almost three as Erik Cole scored moments after a PP expired), enough to expunge the Jets by a final tally of 4-3.
Now, in a season where seemingly every point will matter, what better way to break out of a one game losing streak -- if you can even call it a streak -- than by visiting the sunny Florida coast?
Winnipeg hoped a plane Wednesday afternoon destined for America's sunbelt where they will be hosted by the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning in back-to-backs this Thursday and Friday before returning to Winnipeg for the weekend.
So with just about two and a half days featuring palm trees and 75F temperatures, we need to know which Jets' player will be coming back with the best tan.
First, let's use the process of elimination to narrow our result field.
Given that the Nordics tend to have fair skin, we can eliminate Tobias Enstrom and Antti Miettinen from contention. With a longstanding history in Sunrise, Olli Jokinen could be a possibility, though he'll have his hands full anchoring the Jets' most effective scoring line.
Moreover, we absolutely know for certain it won't be Grant Clistome either; the Jets' defenseman will be seeking the cool shade and constant Aloe Vera applications seeing as he's developed a scorching burn from flashing Eastern Conference red goal lights.
Damn penalty kill.
Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane too will be omitted for obvious reasons. Blake Wheeler is said to enjoy the company of a good book, so we'll assume he'll consume himself with the reading of War and Peace.
This leaves us with a handful of Jets to choose from.
For me, the answer is cut and dry: Zach Bogosian.
An avid outdoorsman, Bogosian longs to be at one with nature, as his Instagram profile suggests. Seeing as he's also one of the few Jets being held out of the line-up due to injury, he'll have ample time to survey the Floridian scene.
Croc tours? Sign Bogo up! That said, it doesn't have to be a redneck's breakfast. Maybe some oceanside R&R will do him a world of good when it comes to getting his wrist ready for the rigours of the 2013 season. And hey, if that doesn't work he could always try deer antler extract.
There are, however, two dark horses who could emerge victorious in this, The Greatest Tan Challenge of 2013.
Paul Postma has spent the better part of three months living in St. John's as a member of the AHL's IceCaps, a place where the words "tanning bed" might as well be foreign language. So with a little bit of vitamin D and some SPF 15 could have Postma looking like the newest entourage member of the Jersey Shore.
The other possibility would be Mark Schiefele, a kid so pasty he's been mistaken for Wonder bread. If --and only if -- Scheifele finds a way to break the press-box curse will he be a true contender in this competition.
"If you wish to break the press-box curse, simply quote a Bible verse".
Of course, the ultimate prize would be retiring to Winnipeg on a fresh two game winning streak and their place atop the NHL's Southeast Division. But should that not come to fruition, catching some rays before returning to this windchill-swept city would be a pretty good consolation prize.
Which Winnipeg Jets' player do you think comes back with the best tan? Let us know in the comments section below!