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NHL: Winnipeg Jets the Toast of Winnipeg

The Winnipeg Jets were back in convincing fashion - 6-1 win over Columbus.
The Winnipeg Jets were back in convincing fashion - 6-1 win over Columbus.Marianne Helm/Getty Images
Matt EichelSenior Writer ISeptember 22, 2011

One day after the Winnipeg Jet's 6-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in front of a sold out MTS Centre, the city is still buzzing about the experience.

From the resounding first game of the pre-season came many storylines—from Dustin Byfulgien's fight and inspired play in front of the 15,015 fans to first round pick Mark Scheifele's four-point night—the Jets are definitely the talk of the town.

The return of the Jets makes Saturday night a hard decision to make for many Winnipeg sports fans as the Jets are playing in Nashville against the Predators while the 8-3 Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who lead the CFL's Eastern Division, are in Toronto playing the Argonauts.

What to watch? A split decision. Many Winnipeggers will have the previous channel button on their remote well-worked in, that's for sure.

From SportsRadio 1290 talking non-stop about the Jets game last night to the non-stop coverage on CJOB, the Jets game last night represented much more than a hockey game.

It was, after all, just a pre-season game. A game that means nothing to any standings, points, or positioning in the Conferences.

But it was the tangible return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg.

Last night did not feature the Phoenix Coyotes, the ex-Jets, taking on another out-of-town opponent in a one night fits all format at MTS Centre.

Our Jets were playing.

Our Jets were in Winnipeg.

Our Jets were back.

Our Jets are back.

The feeling still may not have settled in until next summer after a full season. Or perhaps it may even take a few years, but the long and short of it is: NHL hockey is back in Winnipeg.

And the Jets are the toast of Winnipeg.

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