‘I take full responsibility’: Winnipeg Jets’ Bowness takes blame for playoff failure – Winnipeg

Instead of preparing for what would have been a hugely important Game 6, Winnipeg Jets players and staff took the witness stand to be questioned over the regular season Jets’ demise after entering the playoffs. as the most popular team in the league.

“Listen, I take full responsibility for that performance in the playoffs,” Jets head coach Rick Bowness said. “Yes. Our team did not play well.”

Bowness has taken the blame for their playoff failure, which saw them eliminated in just five games for the second year in a row. And from the emotion in his voice it was clear that this hurts a little more.

“Oddly enough, there were a lot of guys who weren’t ready to talk today,” general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said. “Because they say, we’re not supposed to talk today, we’re supposed to practice today.”

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“This to me is what hurts the most in my four years here in our playoff losses,” defenseman Dylan DeMelo said. “I’m still trying to understand why, why it all happened.

“I mean, if guys aren’t burning fire for it or don’t think we all need to get better, then something’s wrong.”

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With six straight losses in playoff elimination games dating back to 2018, it’s easy to say the Jets aren’t made for the playoffs, but Bowness said this year is different than last.

“We had to change the culture,” he said. “This organization, this team, had a bad reputation. We have improved that. We have fixed it.

“We have made great progress. Is there more to go? Yes there are.”

“I’d like to think that, hopefully, this will be the last learning curve we have to go through,” Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck said. “I hope this series has opened our eyes to the last piece of the puzzle for a long journey.”

Click to play video: 'RAW: Interviews with Winnipeg Jets Hellebuyck and Lowry - May 2'

RAW: Interviews between Winnipeg Jets Hellebuyck and Lowry – May 2

The Jets allowed at least five goals in each game, but it’s tremendously difficult to attribute all of their elimination to the goaltender.

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“You probably won’t believe it when I say I was playing the best hockey of my career. But that’s really how I felt,” Hellebuyck said. “Not being able to avoid four goals on the scoreboard is heartbreaking. It really is heartbreaking.

“I don’t know if I even saw half of the pucks go into the net.”

“For me, not being able to put my foot down in a single game is really heartbreaking.”

Bowness is now 69 years old. He didn’t seem like someone ready to retire, but he didn’t reveal his future plans.

“I know what I’m going to do,” Bowness said. “I know what I want to do, but that will come out.”

Click to play video: 'RAW: Winnipeg Jets' Rick Bowness Interview - May 2'

RAW: Interview with Rick Bowness of the Winnipeg Jets – May 2

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