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The Best Team that Never Won

The 2018 Winnipeg Jets was one of the best in the league.

NHL: APR 11 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round Game 1 - Wild at Jets Photo by Terrence Lee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I was driving home for Mother’s Day weekend from Swan River. I had stopped for supper somewhere, I think maybe the A&W before I left after a staff meeting. I was driving home on a long and often lonely road. I couldn’t listen to the game until I was almost home and even then it was spotty. I finally had to stop and get gas and was able to check my phone. The Winnipeg Jets were beating the Nashville Predators and I had no way of knowing.

The Jets went on a very predictable run in 2018. The run was fuelled by the second best team in the league with excellent goaltending. They were fuelled by Patrik Laine being an unstoppable force scoring goals. They were fuelled by a strong top four defence that was held down by Josh Morrissey and Jacob Trouba.

The season was magical and the only thing that threw them off in the playoffs was having to play the Nashville Predators in a gritty, skilled series that went seven long games. Without that series happening in the second round, the Jets could have made it into the Stanley Cup Final. Instead, they face the Vegas Golden Knights as a tired and beat up team.

The 2017-2018 Winnipeg Jets might be the best version of them that we see for a long time. They were well built, played a solid system, and had the talent to overcome their faults. The fact they never won and were eliminated in the Conference Finals because of the quirk in the playoffs where the best teams regularly meet in the second round. And this is why the 2017-2018 Jets were the best team that never won.