Jets fans made this series amazing to watch. The passion that the city of Winnipeg has for hockey was really cool to see. Stick taps to all of the fans in Winnipeg that participated in the white out and made the best series of the first round. Although you may be disappointed now, Jets fans, your team is on the right track to becoming a big threat in the Central Division. I would like to specifically congratulate a few players:
Jacob Trouba – I already loved Trouba's game before seeing him in this series. Like Hampus Lindholm, Trouba is proving to be one of the better defensemen selected in his draft year. The speed and accuracy with which he handles the puck made him extremely dangerous in the series. It's too bad that a broken hand hindered his ability in the final two games. Getting worked over by Emerson Etem was definitely a one-time thing. I expect Trouba to come back next season even better.
Ondrej Pavelec – Despite the sweep, this was actually a really difficult series for the Ducks. This was the case, mostly because Pavelec was able to keep his team in the game. He might get a lot hate for being an average to below average goaltender, but he didn't seem like one in this series. Game 2 was the best example of a game that the Jets could have won. Pavelec made a ton of saves in the third period, but the team defense wasn't able to help him out enough to get the win. Overall, I was surprised with his performance, and I think he has nothing to feel down about after this series.
Bryan Little – This guy is one of the most underrated players in the game. I didn't remember him being able to pass as well as he did in these four games. For a first line center, Little doesn't get enough attention. He led the team in goals (2) and points (3) and seemed to be the biggest threat on the ice on every shift. The collective speed of the Jets was difficult for the Ducks to handle, but combine that speed with the kind of poise that Little has with possession of the puck and it's a completely different game. Hopefully next season this playoff appearance will bring a little more attention to the play of Bryan Little.
Coach Shoutout – Paul Maurice did a great job managing his team this season. There is a reason why the Jets were one of the better possession teams in the league, and a lot of it had to do with a great coaching change in 2014. It was noticeable that Bruce Boudreau wasn't able to get all the match ups he would have liked in games three and four. Also deciding to make changes on defense seemed to give Winnipeg a little more stability on the blueline in game 2. Maurice has a long career ahead of him and, in my opinion, should be considered for the Jack Adams (coach of the year) award for turning the Jets around.
See you next year, Winnipeg.