The Winnipeg Jets and Colorado Avalanche treated the 15,225 in attendance at Canada Life Centre to an abs0lute shooting gallery in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series on Sunday night.

And much to the delight of the fans in Manitoba, it was the home team that came out on top after a shooter's paradise that saw the Jets finish with seven goals and the Avalanche just six.

Winnipeg head coach Rick Bowness summed up the wacky 13-goal contest well afterwards.

“It wasn’t exactly how we drew it up, but if that’s the way it goes, that’s the way it goes,” he reflected, per's Tracey Myers. “Their top guys took over, our top guys took over. It was just the type of game that it evolved into, and you play it out and we found a way to get the win. So, we’ll take it.”

Not often will six goals in a postseason game not be enough to close the deal, but that's the reality for Colorado after peppering Connor Hellebuyck with 46 shots. The Vezina Trophy favorite saved 41 on them — not great but certainly not terrible.

Hellebuyck struggled but Georgiev was downright bad in Game 1

The same can't be said for the goaltender at the other end of the rink, though. Alexandar Georgiev simply sewered the Avalanche, allowing seven goals on just 23 shots in the dismal defeat. There are times when the Avs just need a couple of saves, and they have not been getting them from the Russian in 2023-24. But, as Bowness said, the Jets will take it.

“Listen, we’ll never complain about a win, especially this time of year,” the bench boss continued. “We’re very happy to get that win and understand that there are areas we’re going to need to be better, and we will. There are things we’re going to clean up.”

Bowness also immediately deflected any blame away from his goaltender after what was admittedly not the veteran's best postseason performance.

“You’re not tagging any of those goals on him. Some of them were bouncing all over the place, some of them were just dead giveaways on our part. You're not hanging any of those on him. It could have been worse. Seriously,” he explained, per Myers.

“We don't give up that many chances, we don't give up that many shots, and Connor had to play better, and he made a lot of big saves at the right time, which he always does. I'm not hanging any of those goals on him.”

Game 1 between Avalanche and Jets a ‘roller coaster'

Winnipeg Jets celebrate their victory over the Colorado Avalanche in game one of the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canada Life Centre.
James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Jets D-man Brendan Dillon was one of Winnipeg's most effective players on Sunday, chipping in assists and a plus-3 rating while dishing out three hits and absorbing two blocks over 21:28 of time on ice.

And the veteran — who is no stranger to playoff hockey — was just riding the wave.

“What a hockey game, huh? We were riding the same roller coaster like everyone else there. Crazy,” said the 33-year-old, per Myers. “I guess we proved we can score goals, too, but man oh man, that’s not us.”

Considering the Jets were tied for first in the NHL in goals against per game with just 2.41 during the regular-season, that much is very true. But as Colorado led the league in scoring at a pristine 3.68 goals per game, it was probably expected that there would be some goals in this series.

No, we shouldn't expect another 7-6 contest when the two Central Division behemoths meet again on Tuesday night at Canada Life Centre. But after a thrilling Game 1, this series should only get better as two clubs with Stanley Cup aspirations desperately try to avoid another first-round exit.