But ultimately, this is not 2018.
The Jets once again abandoned the lead in the third period and will now have to come out of a hole in their first round series with the red-hot St. Louis Blues.
St. Louis scored twice in the third period to beat Winnipeg 2-1 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of their best-of-seven series at Bell MTS Place.
It was the fourth time in seven games that the Jets gave up an advantage in the third period.
"It's always hard to lose a game in the third," said Jets forward Patrik Laine, who scored Winnipeg's only goal. "That should be our focus in the future.
"We had a couple of those in which they scored the winning goal in the last two minutes, it's always difficult, but that's how it happens sometimes, we still have two minutes to go out and time the game, but we could not do it. we have to go and focus on the next game. "
During last season's race to the Western Conference finals, Winnipeg made a habit of winning Game 1 at home.
They did it in the first round against the Savage. They did it again in the second round against Nashville. And the Jets also had a 1-0 lead against Vegas before losing four in a row.
"We expected this to be at seven," said Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler. "Seven games really closed, it was not our way tonight."
There were early signs that Winnipeg could change things despite the last two months.
They finally returned with full force in defense when Josh Morrissey played his first game since February 24. Dustin Byfuglien, who missed half of the season with injuries, also played, scoring the sixth time since January 1 that Winnipeg had both in the lineup.
Laine, who finished the regular season with a goal in 19 games, fired a wrist shot at Blues goalkeeper Jordan Binnington in the first period.
"I was not particularly worried about the last leg we went through," said Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice.
But in the third, the Blues took charge.
They tied the game at a point David Perron shot through the traffic at 4:05 in the frame. And after generating several Grade A opportunities to take the lead, they finally did so with only 2:05 remaining in the third.
St. Louis forward Patrick Maroon protected a pair of Jets players under the goal line and then gave Tyler Bozak a pbad in the slot. Bozak cut a shot past Hellebuyck for the winner.
"It was good, the hockey playoff," said Maurice. "It was not an open game and it's not being triggered in this series, it's going to be almost like that all the way."