Has Regina been embracing the Winnipeg Jets?
Often, when a Canadian team is left in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the rest of the country cheers on the team. But it’s hard to find much evidence of support for the whiteout in the Queen City.
Even on Winnipeg Street.
“It doesn’t translate here,” said George Yannitsos, owner of 4Seasons sports bar.
The electronic sign in front of the sports bar along Arcola Avenue is one of the few places that has a supportive “Go Jets Go” as the team entered game seven versus the Nashville Predators Thursday night.
Even though Winnipeg is Regina’s closest geographical NHL city, it doesn’t mean that’s who most cheer for, at least based on Yannitsos’ experience with the playoffs at his establishment this season.
“Regina is a huge, huge (Calgary) Flames and (Edmonton) Oilers town,” he said.
Yannitsos said some of his best nights for Jets games these playoffs have been when fans from out of town were in the city on business, curious to see if 4Seasons would be showing the game.
However, having any Canadian team in the playoffs is still better for his business than having none make the cut. Yannitsos said it may even pick up yet, depending on how far Winnipeg ends up going.
“If the Jets make it all the way to the Stanley Cup final, Jets mania and whiteout might translate a little bit more here.”
He figured some people might be envious of Winnipeg’s success, especially those fans who cheer for a division or conference rival of the Jets.
But Yannitsos believes if those fans can get over their envy, they’ll eventually come around and root for the Manitoba team.