Are the Winnipeg Jets ready to stand up and be counted?

A good chunk of this core group has yet to get a taste of the Stanley Cup playoffs, either as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers or the Jets and, with 22 games left in the regular season and Winnipeg just two points below the playoff line, this looks like their best chance to do so.

“We put ourselves into a position where we can control our own destiny and play our way in there. For us, that’s what we’re looking forward to most,” said Jets forward Evander Kane. “We definitely don’t want to be at the end of the season and talking about the same stuff as the past four years. For me and a lot of guys, (missing the playoffs) is something we’re sick and tired of and hopefully we can show that on the ice.”

This is not to suggest for one second that it will be an easy road for the Jets.

On the contrary, it’s sure to be a filled with potholes, not to mention stiff competition.

The Jets are right in the hunt but they’ll most likely need to accumulate more than 30 (possibly as many as 35) of the 44 points available in order to nail down one of the wild-card spots in the Western Conference.

That big-picture thinking is for mathematicians and members of the media to worry about though.

During the stretch drive, look for the Jets to take the one-game-at-a-time mentality to a new level in order to stay on task.

“We can’t worry about what else is going on around the league or two games from now,” said Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian. “We’ve made up some pretty good ground. We’ve got to understand we’ve played good but we can’t be satisfied. We have to keep pushing forward and keep this thing going. We realize how tight things are and there’s a lot of good teams we’re going to be playing.”

There shouldn’t be a lack of intensity as the Jets return to action, that’s for sure.