Sunday, January 12, 2014

Winnipeg Jets Dump Claude Noel

Autographed Claude Noel Photo - WINNIPEG JETS 8X10 w COAWith the Winnipeg Jets spiraling out of control and the team seemingly playing itself out of the NHL playoffs, Claude Noel was fired by Winnipeg. The Jets have already announced his replacement. It will be Paul Maurice.

I don't think Noel should receive all the blame but it's the coach that always takes the fall for a team playing pathetic hockey. Yes, the Winnipeg Jets are playing a terrible brand of hockey. It pains me to even call it hockey.

Just when the Jets win a game, they seem to lose 5, 6, 7 and more. This is a team that has been battling to reach the 500 mark all season. Playoffs? That's not even in the horizon. The Jets play in the NHL's Western Conference where making the playoffs is a dog fight.

Case in point: The Minnesota Wild have a record of 24-18-5, yet they would barely make it into the post-season if the playoffs started today.

So how could a team like Winnipeg with a record of 19-23-5 even compete? They can't and they're not. That's why a move was made. The Jets are desperate to turn things around. They must be hoping that this move will be the catalyst that gets the team moving in the right direction.

I hate to be a pessimist but I don't think that the coach is the problem. It's the players. The Jets just don't have a good core of players that can play consistent hockey night after night.

You could have Scotty Bowman behind the bench but if he has a bunch of rotten tomatoes, even he will fail. There needs to be some accountability as far as the players are concerned. They got their coach fired. They need to step up their play or they will be able to add a second coach's firing to their resumes.

What concerns me is that the Winnipeg Jets now look to Paul Maurice to be the team's savior. The Jets are in their 3rd season and have yet to make the playoffs. Fans are getting restless and the team will have to give their new coach a couple of seasons before even considering firing him.

The pressure is on Maurice to win now. I will be looking for the team to play much better for the remainder of the season and give Jets fans a glimmer of hope that season four will be different.

The fans that support this team deserve much better than the poor product that has taken the ice this season. It's time for the players to play with some heart and passion and do everything in their power to play better hockey.

Article sources:
ESPN.com
ESPN.com NHL Team Standings

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