Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Tense standoff for Noel, Ladd at practice

But coach appreciates captain's moxie

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Andrew Ladd (left) and Claude Noel had a few tense moments on Thursday.

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Andrew Ladd (left) and Claude Noel had a few tense moments on Thursday.

PHILADELPHIA -- What first looked like it might be a multi-party eruption turned out to be water under the bridge.

Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd and head coach Claude Noel exchanged a few intense words during the team's short practice Thursday at Wells Fargo Center.

But it was little more than a coach's reminder to pay attention to one's work.

The Jets skated for only 40 minutes and that included a shootout contest to finish.

That's not a long practice by any standards. But part-way through the drills, Noel stopped the activity and began barking at his team with some unkind words.

"You want to practise, then let's practise," was the cleaned-up version.

A few more expletives followed the scolding, at which point 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 and unbothered.

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 were coming off two road wins and face the Philadelphia Flyers here today in a morning start time (10:30 a.m.).

"That's exactly what it is," the coach said. "Comfortable. We travelled. 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."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 29, 2013 C3

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