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Wheeler on Jets as Cup contenders: 'We haven't even made the f---ing playoffs'

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Blake Wheeler knows the Winnipeg Jets still have plenty of work to do as the season winds down.

Even after a hard-fought comeback win over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, and despite a very successful regular season to date, the Jets captain emphatically stated it's far too early to consider his team to be Stanley Cup contenders.

"I just think that we've got to pump the brakes here a little bit," he said after the game. "We're talking Stanley Cup contender, we haven't even made the f---ing playoffs yet. We're building this up a bit bigger than it is. We're just trying to get better every single game."

Wheeler added it's difficult to avoid hearing how heightened the expectations are in a small market like Winnipeg, especially after the team has posted a record of 33-15-9 and sits second in the competitive Central Division.

"That's what makes this a special place to play," Wheeler continued. "But this is an organization that has never won a playoff game. So we're working on changing that culture every single day.

Wheeler, of course, has been part of the organization dating back to late in the Atlanta days. He's seen the Jets appear in only four playoff games since moving to Winnipeg, resulting in four losses to Anaheim back in 2015.

He's keeping expectations in check, but not making the playoffs or going four-and-out would seem to be a great disappointment for the up-and-coming Jets.

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