Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No 'pre-set plan' for Ondrej as regular sked winds down

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WINNIPEG Jets head coach Claude Noel was asked Wednesday if he had a number in mind as to how many of the remaining 17 games Ondrej Pavelec would start. His answer: He'll play it by ear.

"I've talked about focusing on one game at a time," Noel said. "It'll be dependent on the schedule and I've got to read the situation. I don't want to overplay, over-think. For me, it's just about focussing on the game, and we've got a couple days before the next game. That gives us an opportunity for rest and we'll see how fresh he is and that type of thing. How's he playing? How's our team playing? I don't have a pre-set plan with Pavelec."

SYMPATHY FOR A COLLEAGUE: Noel almost cringed at the topic of Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson being serenaded to chants of 'Fire Wilson' at the end of their 5-3 loss to Florida Tuesday night.

"Touch wood, I have not had that," said Noel, banging his knuckles on the podium in the media room and then his head. "I wouldn't want to imagine what that would be like. It's tough. I've said this before: When you get in this profession as a coach, we know what's happening. It's not something you'd wish upon. It's a tough task, but what can you do, what can you say?

"We take on this job, we know what's at stake. We know it's a short shelf life. We know if you have longevity, you're probably fortunate. You walk around with a target, you've got to take criticism and you've got to be thick-skinned. And if you're not, you're probably in the wrong job.

"I do (feel for him). I don't wish that upon anybody. It's hard enough to coach in this job without... that."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 1, 2012 C2

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