ANALYSIS: It’s wild card or bust for Jets – Winnipeg |

The Winnipeg Jets collected their 40th win of the season Tuesday night — a challenging home-ice victory over the Arizona Coyotes, no less, and the significance of the win was two-fold.

For starters, it keeps the Jets in control of their own path toward playoff qualification, and the reward to what has been — for the most part — a successful season.

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With 10 games remaining, Winnipeg is still ahead of the likes of Calgary and Nashville, the only real threats to unseat them from securing the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Sure, a quick look above them would indicate a mathematical probability that they could still finish third in the Central Division, but in reality, it’s wild card or bust.

Tuesday night’s 40th win also indicates a small improvement over last year’s tumultuous season that left management and players bitter and confused, and the fanbase utterly disappointed and somewhat disengaged.

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Jets pick up crucial two points in 2-1 win over Arizona

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To this point, with game 72 now in the books, the Jets are seven wins and six points better than they were last year, and counting. It’s certainly not the total about-face that the first four months of the season were shaping up to be, but it is progress.

Now, 40 wins is a nice round number, but that’s all it is, and the work is far from over as the Jets will need to be closer to 50 wins for them to punch their ticket to the post-season for a sixth time in franchise history.

In other words, they’re going to need to add at least 10 or 12 additional points to their current total of 83 to be one of the eight teams granted entry into the Stanley Cup tournament.

If they can do that, then the significance will be two-fold: one, it’s an improvement over last year, and two, perhaps the best hockey of their season awaits in late April and beyond.

Click to play video: 'John Shannon on the Jets: March 15'

John Shannon on the Jets: March 15

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