Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Noel only shows first period of Wings debacle

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If there was such a thing as game tape any more in the age of technology, Winnipeg Jets’ head coach Claude Noel would have burned the evidence of Saturday’s 7-1 to the Detroit Red Wings long ago.

What he did instead was go over the first period of Jets’ loss with his players before practice Monday – they trailed 2-1 after one – and then opted to fast forward through the rest.

Good call.

"People deal with those types of games in different ways," said Noel Monday. "Players are players... it’s different when you’re a coach because you kind of live and die with those games. We moved on. I moved on this morning. One of the questions was would I watch the game back and suffer the pain twice. I watched the first period and I liked the first period.... I thought we did some good things. We watched some tape today and reviewed the first period. I didn’t go to the second... that was by design.

"We’ve moved past that game. A loss is a loss. It was painful for everybody. Watching it on TV would have been painful, being behind the bench was painful, playing and being one of the players was painful, sitting in the stands as one of the extra player would be painful... there was nothing good about it. But we’ll be good (Tuesday)."

The Jets will have to be considerably better Tuesday when they play host to the surprising Minnesota Wild, first overall in the NHL with a 20-7-3 record. The match-up is the first of a six-game home stand for the Jets before Christmas; a docket of games that also includes Washington and Anaheim this week – featuring Teemu Selanne’s return – as well as contests against the New York Islanders, Montreal and Pittsburgh.

"(Minnesota) is obviously having a great year," said Jets’ captain Andrew Ladd. "It stems from their team play and how well they are playing together. For us we’re going to have to play a simple game and counter their attack and just play smart hockey."

On the injury front, defenceman Tobias Enstrom participated in his first full practice with the team, but likely won’t be cleared to play from until the end of the month. Nik Antropov, Dustin Byfuglien and Eric Fehr did not practice Monday and are game-time decisions. Same for Ron Hainsey, who did work out with the team but is still recovery from a foot injury.

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

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