PHILADELPHIA — The captain and the coach exchanged a few words during the Winnipeg Jets practice today at Wells Fargo Center but all it really amounted to was a coach’s reminder to pay attention to one’s work.
The Jets skated for only 40 minutes today — Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. — and that included a shootout contest at the end. But part-way through today’s drills, Jets coach Claude Noel stopped the activity and lit into his team
"You want to practise, then let’s practise," Noel said, easily heard from the seats. A few expletives followed the scolding, at which point Andrew Ladd, stationed across the ice against the far boards, barked back at his coach, "Let’s go, then let’s go."
Noel said a few direct words to Ladd and the captain responded with his phrase, "Then let’s go," again.
Then practice resumed, and at a much more intense pace, it should be noted, and that was that.
"What was it all about? We’re just trying to get practice going," the captain said, straight-faced as one could be.
So your reaction was that the coach had made his point?
"Yeah, I think so," Ladd said. "I was just trying to keep things going here. So let’s get going and that’s about it."
Noel said the interruption and brief exchange with his captain was simply a matter of keeping complacency out of the mix.
The Jets are coming off two road wins and face the Philadelphia Flyers in a morning start time (10:30 a.m.) on Friday.
"That’s exactly what it is," the coach said, wide-eyed. "Comfortable. We traveled. We won two in a row on the road. We might not want to be here. It’s Thanksgiving. The other team had an optional. (If) we’re going to be here, let’s get to work. I don’t think it’s too much to ask right now.
"We just had a day off, so let’s get ourselves back to work and in a frame of mind to prepare ourselves for winning. We’re playing a morning game so it’s all part of wanting more from each other, all players and staff."
On the specific exchange with Ladd, the coach added: "I think it was fine. He likes the pace to go. He works. He’s a worker. It’s the other people I need to get going. So help them. That’s what leadership is.
"I just wanted intensity, more intensity. We’re not going very long. Didn’t think it was too much to ask."