Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Kitty's paw waves off old times in Winnipeg

  • Print

It would not pass the royal wave test and, in fact, may have been the grumpiest signal of grateful acknowledgement in history. Hockey or otherwise.

Randy Carlyle returned to Winnipeg last night and the Jets paid him a tribute, but as expected, the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs did not play along and open the door to any overwrought sentimentality.

Carlyle's wave was a form of thank-you, but it was also a "sit down and shut up, that's enough of that" swipe of his paw.

The former Jets defenceman and one-time Manitoba Moose coach ignored the tribute and continued scribbling on his whiteboard until the ovation became too loud not to acknowledge.

But no cloying bow for Carlyle, just a rapid raise and drop of his hand and then back to hockey.

The Leafs aren't very talented, but Carlyle has shed the roster of its sense of entitlement and there was no shortage of effort or pluck from the visitors.

Carlyle matched lines and pushed an agenda all night. His team bought in and earned a 3-2 come-from-behind road win. Winnipeg coach Claude Noel's group let an opportunity against a roster equal to theirs in talent slip away.

Both the Leafs and Jets endure an existence where most nights they'll be out-armed. Carlyle's group has grasped this and accepted his work-first mantra. They did on Thursday and they won their sixth game of the season.

Noel's bunch provided an uneven approach and suffered its fifth loss to fall below .500 and out of the playoff picture.

Noel and Carlyle have crossed paths as coaches in the IHL, AHL and NHL and matched up against each other in the minor pro leagues while serving their apprenticeship.

This was an NHL game, but the men behind the benches had done this before in places like Kalamazoo and Milwaukee.

It didn't take long for Carlyle and Noel to resume a chess match between them that dates back to the mid-'90s and their days in the IHL. Noel put tough-guy Anthony Peluso on the ice for the warmup and waited to see how Carlyle would fill out his lineup card.

When Carlyle wrote in Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren, Noel yanked Peluso, thinking he could take advantage of his last change and get favourable matchups against a pair of so-so skaters.

It didn't work.

Certainly it wasn't a major theme in the game, but the Leafs did play a chippy and at times ratty game. In theory, Noel's team should have had opportunities to turn the deficiencies of Toronto's tough guys into offensive chances, but it didn't materialize.

Winnipeg's Chris Thorburn didn't like McLaren's act and ran him into the home side's bench in the first period and a fight immediately ensued. Thorburn won but the Leafs were undaunted and continued to chirp and push and shove.

Toronto had a plan and they executed. Winnipeg could not say the same. Twitter: @garylawless


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 8, 2013 C1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Andrew Ladd talks about his injury

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A squirrel enjoys the morning sunshine next to the duck pond in Assiniboine Park Wednesday– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

About Gary Lawless

Gary Lawless is the Free Press sports columnist and co-host of the Hustler and Lawless show on TSN 1290 Winnipeg and
Lawless began covering sports as a rookie reporter at The Chronicle-Journal in Thunder Bay after graduating from journalism school at Durham College in Ontario.
After a Grey Cup winning stint with the Toronto Argonauts in the communications department, Lawless returned to Thunder Bay as sports editor.
In 1999 he joined the Free Press and after working on the night sports desk moved back into the field where he covered pro hockey, baseball and football beats prior to being named columnist.


Will Connor McDavid make the Edmonton Oilers a playoff team?

View Results

Ads by Google