Winnipeg coach Claude Noel isn’t normally an angry man and even if he does get mad, it doesn’t last long. Maybe all night, but no more.
Noel spent Thursday night fuming over his team’s play against the Washington Capitals at the MTS Centre. The Jets lost 1-0 and were badly outplayed for much of the game, especially the third period when Alex Ovechkin scored with 1:14 left.
“I’m extremely mad right now,” Noel said after the game. “I’ll get up in the morning, I’ll be bitter and mad and everything else. I’ll figure out how to manage the day and then we’ll move forward.”
When asked after the Jets practiced Friday morning if he did wake up mad, Noel said: “Yup I did. And I watched the video and I got what I needed to get out of it and we watched a little bit of it and we sorted it out and then we moved forward. And that’s what is needed to get done. So it’s good, good. The sun came up today and we’re moving forward.”
The loss to the Capitals not only ended the Jets’ five game winning streak at home, where the team got to thinking the magic of the MTS Centre would guarantee almost every victory, it also ruined a chance for the Jets to move into a playoff position (the Jets have 32 points one shy of a playoff spot).
That still irked Noel Friday.
“It’s disappointing we could have been in seventh place,” he said. “But you know what? That’s how it goes and this maybe a better lesson for us in the long run. And that’s the way we have to look at it and that’s what we’ll do.”
Noel said the team can’t dwell on Thursday’s game and has to get ready for the Anaheim Ducks and former Jet star Teemu Selanne, who visit the MTS Centre Saturday.
“I can’t drag my disappointment forever. If I’m asking the team to move on then I’d best move on myself,” he said. “If I walk around like the dog died every hour of the day now and again tomorrow, [the players]are going to feed off of that. If I want them to let it go, then I’ve got to let it go first.”
Selanne’s arrival has already created a stir in Winnipeg, where he played for 3 1/2 years for the old Winnipeg Jets before being traded to Anaheim in 1996. He scored 76 goals in his rookie season and earned 132 points, breaking the league’s rookie records.
“There will be a lot of buzz in the building regarding Selanne and there should be,” Noel said Friday. “He’s had a great career and we want him to continue having a great career, after the game.”