Maybe has just been delayed.
Given the weather this week – shorts to raincoats to snowsuits – anything is possible.
But 103 years and counting?
They called it "Winnipeg's Destiny" back in 1912. The city was booming, the West opening up. Dominion Magazine predicted it would be the city's "greatest year."
Well, the Jets weren't in town back then. And they weren't in town between 1996 and 2011, when the NHL finally came back to this hockey-crazed city in the very heart of the country. And Dominion Magazine wouldn't have a clue what NHL playoff hockey was, given that there was no NHL.
There was NHL hockey in Winnipeg Monday night, though – spectacular hockey – only to see Winnipeg's expected destiny denied once again.
Barely five minutes into the first overtime, the Anaheim Ducks took a three-games-to-none lead in their opening round playoff with the Jets when, following some sloppy Winnipeg work along the boards, Rickard Rakell tipped a point shot by Francois Beauchemin past goaltender Ondrej Pavelec for a 5-4 victory.
The evening did not go at all as planned by this city's enthusiastic fans.
"The Storm Is Here" said one sign held up in the sold-out, whited-out crowd that blew the roof off the MTS Centre when the Jets skated out for their first playoff game in 19 years. "The Wait is Over," read another sign.
Didn't matter that the Jets were already down two games in the series. All that mattered was that this was the first of what every fan in the rink – and, given the amount of Jets gear sold, every fan in the streets – had been waiting for: a Stanley Cup playoff game.
"This is what hockey's all about," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who comes from Regina and knows a bit about what the national game means to the Prairies.
"We know the crowd is going to be into it," said Ducks forward Corey Perry.
"We just have to weather the storm."
The predictable storm hit hard and fast. With the crowd exploding with every check and pass, the Jets threatened to blow the Ducks out of the rink in the first period – only to see it end 1-1.
At 9:45 Jacob Trouba flew up ice, as is the young defenceman's inclination, and sent a hard shot at Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen. Adam Lowry picked up the rebound and chipped it back to veteran forward Lee Stempniak, who had an empty net to play to welcome his shot.
The crowd, need it be said, broke the sound barrier.
It was the third straight game in which the Jets held an early lead. Twice before they had not been able to hold one and lost.
That first-period score might well have been a 3-0 Winnipeg lead had forward Bryan Little had as much luck with Andersen's abandoned net. He had one chance where he could not get the puck to sit flat for a backhand and then shot wide. He had a second late in the opening period when he raced for a lost Anaheim puck, picked it up but could not get a shot away before Andersen made it back in time to block the shot.
Then, with a mere seven seconds left in the period, the Jets misplayed the puck on a simple breakout, allowing Ducks defenceman Cam Fowler to walk in and rifle a hard wrist shot past Pavelec, who had been superb up until this point.
The Ducks went ahead in the second period on a Corey Perry goal, his third of these playoffs, when Perry managed to clip a cross-crease pass in behind Pavelec.
It seemed, at this point, that the Jets were about to crash. Big Winnipeg defenceman Dustin Byfuglien crushed Perry to the ice after he had scored and was sent off for roughing. The Jets were fortunate not to be down by another goal.
It was on a Jets power play that they began to come around again. A point shot by lanky Winnipeg defenceman Tyler Myers found its way past Andersen.
The Jets then went ahead for the second time when a bouncing puck found itself on the blade of Blake Wheeler and Wheeler was able to beat Andersen to put Winnipeg ahead 3-2.
But, once again, they could not hold a lead. Jets defenceman Adam Pardy lost the puck to Ducks forward Ryan Kesler behind the Winnipeg net and Kesler slipped the puck out to Silfverberg for an easy goal.
Finally, Little struck in the last two minutes of the period when he intercepted a terrible Cam Fowler giveaway and fired a quick shot past Andersen's blocker.
"It's kind of put everything on the line and see what happens tonight," Little had said earlier in the day.
"Sometimes, a mistake is made," Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau had observed earlier, "and we were lucky enough to take advantage of the mistake and score the goal."
This time the mistake was all Ducks, the goal all Winnipeg's.
The Jets now had a 4-3 lead to take into the third period – but they would be doing so against a team that had twice come back in the third to beat them in the playoffs and had set an NHL record this season with 18 third-period comebacks.
Sure enough, with little more than two minutes remaining in regulation, Silfverberg was able to get a puck across to Kesler, who had the open side of the net to tie the game at four goals apiece.
Then, with the arena still packed with the faithful, another giveaway led to Rakell's goal.
Down three games to none in a best of four series seems now less about "destiny" than it is about "desperation."