Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Noel has no good news on injury front

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JETS coach Claude Noel didn't have much in the way of good news on the injury front to provide fans on Monday.

Forwards Eric Fehr and Jason Jaffray skipped Monday's practice. Noel said it was a "maintenance day" for both players.

Defenceman Ron Hainsey, who returned last Wednesday from a 16-game absence and played more than 23 minutes that night, has been unable to go since.

Noel said Hainsey will be a game-time decision tonight.

The coach also said injured defencemen Randy Jones and Tobias Enstrom are back skating. Enstrom is skating without pucks and is expected to be out until after Christmas with his broken collarbone. Jones might be eight or nine days away, Noel said.

Defenceman Brett Festerling and Derek Meech are also sidelined indefinitely.

-- -- --

Ottawa Senators goalie Alex Auld has played for eight NHL teams, so a return to Winnipeg for tonight's NHL game created at least one good thought.

Auld, the Manitoba Moose starter for most of 2001 to 2005 and author of 69 AHL wins for the franchise, said Monday: "It's the place I played the longest my pro career."

Auld made 148 appearances for the Moose. His last season here was the team's first in the MTS Centre, 2004-05.

"Landing (Sunday) night, driving through the city, it's funny how things have changed and how they haven't," Auld said after the Sens practice on Monday. "You see the new things and things that were still the same. It's going to be pretty cool, this game."

-- -- --

Monday, two NHL coaches were dismissed.

Given that the demise of Bruce Boudreau in Washington and Paul Maurice in Carolina will both affect the Jets, who are in the same Southeast Division, the question was tossed into the mix after Monday's practice.

"It's never a good day when the coaching fraternity gets a dent in the armour," said Jets coach Claude Noel. "It's tough. It's a tough job. It's the nature of the business. When you coach, you know that that happens. It's never a good day."

Jets captain Andrew Ladd saw it as less of a factor for the team.

"We're more worried about what we're doing here than other teams," Ladd said.

And after the Ottawa Senators' practice Monday at the MTS Centre, Sens coach Paul MacLean, who's less than half a season into his first NHL head job, knew the day to be a reality check.

"Oh yeah, I remind myself of that every day, that I'm pretty fortunate to have the job I have," MacLean told reporters. "It does motivate me to keep working hard at my job."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 29, 2011 C2

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