Last night marked a historic evening for the Winnipeg Jets.
A 5-0 victory in Game 5 over the Minnesota Wild clinched the franchise its first series win since moving from Atlanta in 2011. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck posted his second shutout of the playoffs and the team will now face either the Nashville Predators or Colorado Avalanche in the second round.
Long before the team’s return, the organization popularized what is known by hockey fans today as the ‘Whiteout’, in which fans throughout the city would dress head-to-toe in the one colour to show their support for its players. Fast-forward 20 years and nothing has changed. Residents are still decking themselves out in all white and making the downtown’s core look like a massive white flood. The City decided to close its typically busy Donald Street for fans to watch the action, and at last night’s contest, CTV revealed up to 16,000 people were on tap to watch the Jets eliminate the Wild.
The new tradition has been called the ‘Whiteout Street Party’.
It’s not uncommon for die-hards to cheer on their team outside. Leaf fans flood Maple Leaf Square (located outside of the Air Canada Centre) every time the Leafs squeak their way into the postseason.
Whereas Calgary Flames fans became known for their ‘Red Mile’ during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2004. Calgary ultimately lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games.
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Winnipeg’s Whiteout party has featured all sorts of neat costumes and signs. The best arguably came from this fan, who created a clever poster using Matthew McConaughey’s most notable line.
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As the team continues its run for the cup, expect the attendance number outside of Bell MTS place to only increase. Things are just getting started in the city of Winnipeg.