It’s not officially kaput yet, but the Winnipeg Jets’ playoff chances are this close to completely flat-lining.
Yes, bust out the rosary beads and crank up the prayers, Jets Nation, for the situation is becoming more and more dire by the hour.
Continuing their absolute-worst-time-of-the-season-to-slump run, the Jets fell 3-2 to the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout at the MTS Centre Wednesday night, extending their winless streak (0-2-3) to five games.
The result inches the Jets one point closer to the idle Dallas Stars — who hold down the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference — but means the Canucks move past them in the standings.
Dallas has 74 points, Phoenix is at 73, the Canucks at 70 and the Jets have 69 with just 15 games remaining.
And so one point simply ain’t going to cut it.
"We understand we needed two... it’s tough, but we move on. We always do," said Jets captain Andrew Ladd. "There’s no point in sitting here tomorrow and harping on it. We’ll move forward. If you’re holding on to it, it’s holding you back from moving forward. We’ve done a good job of resetting every game, coming out and playing hard and creating chances. Sometimes the pucks go into the net for you. Right now, it doesn’t seem to be.
"It’s tough to reset, but you have to find a way. You can’t let these losses kill the morale in this room. We have to work at it a little more and bring an energy to the rink tomorrow, find a way to do it and move on."
AN OPPORTUNITY LOST... AGAIN
The Jets were facing a Canucks squad trying to shake off a horrendous finish in a 7-4 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday, a game in which they surrendered seven third-period goals in blowing a 3-0 lead.
More on how bad the Canucks have been of late: They were just 2-7-1 in their last 10 and were on a 1-11-1 skid on the road heading into Wednesday’s tilt here in River City.
And so while picking up only one point in Monday’s solid effort against a powerhouse like Colorado did provide some solace, losing in a shootout to the tire fire the Canucks have become absolutely stings.
"We had opportunities to get the second point in the last couple of games," said Jacob Trouba. "Now we’ve got to start getting them. Those are points we’re letting slip away. It’s good that we got one... you look at the positives and try to think about that. But at the same time, it’s in the back of your mind we’ve got to get these points that you let go."
THE PARADE MARCHES ON... AND ON... AND ON
The Jets continue to talk about stopping their procession to the sin bin, but it continued against the Canucks. Winnipeg was short-handed three times in the first period and five times overall in the game, but the saving grace was the work of the penalty-kill unit, which was perfect again.
"We’ve definitely got to cut down on that," said Jim Slater. "I don’t know how good the calls were... we weren’t happy about a few of them. But our penalty-kill played well to kill them off."
EXTRA TIME, EXTRA ANGUISH
The Jets and Canucks breezed through the five-minute overtime without a whistle, serving up some of the most entertaining hockey of the season in the process. But when that solved nothing, it went to a shootout. Devin Setoguchi, Andrew Ladd and Olli Jokinen were all stopped by Canucks netminder Eddie Lack, with Chris Higgins beating Ondrej Pavelec to get Vancouver the extra point.
After starting the season 5-1 in shootouts, the Jets are now 1-5 in their last six games decided by the skills competition.
"You want to feel it a little," coach Paul Maurice said when asked if frustration was setting in.
"You don’t want to walk in there and say, ‘Don’t even worry about it.’ I mean, you’re putting a hard effort in and you want to get results from that, and when you don’t, you should feel like that (frustrated).
"We want to make sure we clearly understand where we were good and where we weren’t tomorrow and have that part of our game plan against the New York Rangers."