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Fehr acknowledges need to improve

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A day after refusing to address the public comments from his head coach about his play, Winnipeg Jets forward Eric Fehr took his turn to respond Tuesday.

Monday, Fehr was criticized by coach Claude Noel for the slow start, with the head coach not holding back or hiding his thoughts on how the Winkler-product has looked through the first 14 games of his season.

Noel said he was "waiting for (Fehr) to play a little better," suggesting that if the former first round draft choice of the Washington Capitals wanted more ice time then he’s getting right now he’d have to show more.

"It's his career, not mine," was one of Noel's more sharper barbs regarding the player.

With the backing of the organization, Fehr chose not to respond to the evaluation Monday.

Tuesday, he was feeling a little more talkative.

"That’s pretty much the way it is right now," Fehr said after the Jets skated at the MTS IcePlex. "I’m definitely not happy with the way I’ve been playing. I’m trying to improve, I’m working on improving, and that’s the way it’s been.

"I’m not really too worried about the criticism from above – I’m criticizing myself every game and I’m not happy with the way I’m playing. added Fehr, who has just one assist this season.

"I’m more concerned about that. Trying to work on my game is something I’ve been doing all season; now that the coach has said something I’m not going to work extra hard – I’ve been working hard all season.

"I’m just going to continue to push forward and hope for the best."

Fehr and his teammates boarded a plane to Montreal Tuesday afternoon for a game against the Canadiens Wednesday night (6:30 p.m.). The Jets kick off a four-game road swing in Quebec before heading to Toronto (Thursday), Buffalo (Saturday), and Boston (next Tuesday).

Winnipeg (19-14-5, 43 points) sits in eighth spot in the Eastern Conference heading into Tuesday’s action.

Making the trip to Montreal (14-18-7, 35 points) will be centre Bryan Little, who has been shelved with a serious foot injury. Little skated Tuesday but despite an optimistic forecast from the head coach earlier in the week, he probably won’t be ready to suit up until after the Montreal game.

As expected, defenceman Dustin Byfuglien will not join the team for the start of the road swing; he could be an option for the club later in the trip, Noel said.

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