WINNIPEG — A rousing victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins and an excited fan base didn’t spare the Winnipeg Jets much at practice this morning.
The 12-11-4 Jets — first time this season over .500 — skated vigourously for an hour at the MTS IcePlex today, now looking ahead to their Friday night home game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
"I think it’s tough to be pretty lackadaisical with Claude (Noel)," Jets centre Jim Slater said about the team’s coach. "He’s on us. We had a hard practice today after the big win yesterday.
"That’s what he expects and that’s what we have to give him or he’s not going to be happy. It all rides on him. He’s the guy and he’s not going to let us get away with being too lackadaisical throughout the days."
Noel said that a letdown after defeating Boston simply won’t do.
"It is dangerous to have a letdown but I said that last night, that we’re not going to separate our shoulders patting ourselves on the back," he told reporters this morning. "It was a decent practice, hard a little bit, and I wish our focus was a little bit better. But it was OK. It wasn’t great. It’ll be better tomorrow."
Noel said he’s simply happy to have some practice time with his team.
"The last time we practised two practices before a game, I can’t remember when that was," he said. "Today was a good day to work, and we did, but mentally we weren’t engaged as we should have been.
"That’s just part of learning what we need to get done here."
Slater said the team knows that a win is no cause to declare a holiday.
"We were working for sure," Slater said. "We went for an hour there, up and down the ice and it’s good. I won’t say I enjoyed it but it was good for us."
Defenceman Tobias Enstrom, who’s likely out until after Christmas because of a broken collarbone, practised with the team today for the second time in the last week.