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Lowry on Jets first-round exit: 'There's no moral victories in this league'


A promising season for the Winnipeg Jets came to early end Tuesday with a 6-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 5 of their first-round series.

The Jets took the opening game of the series 7-6 before losing four straight while being outscored 22-8 by the Avalanche. Winnipeg allowed a league-low 199 goals in the regular season, giving up less than two and a half goals per game on average.

“There's no moral victories in this league,” Jets captain Adam Lowry said after Tuesday's loss. “I think we got back to the foundation of being a real solid defensive team and we thought we were going to give ourselves a great chance with that identity to go on a long run. Unfortunately, we couldn't play that game consistently enough.

"It's not for a lack of trying or a lack of effort. I think everyone in this room shows up and they put their best foot forward. The Avs did a really good job forcing us to try and play their game.”

After fighting for the top seed in the Western Conference for much of the season, the Jets finished three points back of the Dallas Stars, drawing a matchup with the Avalanche, who were third in the Central Division. The Jets had the second-best record in the West behind the Stars, while the Avalanche finished fourth in the conference standings. 

Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey said Tuesday that the first-round series should be used to determine where the Jets can improve for next year in order to make a deeper run.

“You know, when I watch this series, they were faster most of the games,” Morrissey said. “They were aggressive, that was clearly their game plan. Like I said, I think we just never brought our best game until today, where I think we played our best game we’ve had in the series, but I still don’t think it’s our best game. It’s disappointing.

"There is going to be a time of reflection, where there always is, which [stinks]. But we need to figure out a way to all get better this offseason because we just saw what it looks like to play against a team that knows how to win."

Winnipeg was also eliminated in the first round last season in five games, falling to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights

After locking up centre Mark Scheifele and star goaltender Connor Hellebuyck on long-term deals in October, the Jets have the core of their roster under contract for next season. Seven players are slated for unrestricted free agency, including trade-deadline additions Tyler Toffoli and Sean Monahan, as well as defencemen Brenden Dillon, Dylan DeMelo and Colin Miller.