Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel is desperately trying just about anything to motivate his team, including mixing up the top line.
The Jets, who have just one win in six games, play the Carolina Hurricanes tonight in Winnipeg. The Hurricanes, who are 3-2-2, lost Friday to St. Louis 3-2 in overtime.
“We have to be a lot better there’s no question,” Noel said this morning.
“To me there are no excuses it’s time to start winning here.”
Noel has decided to put Kyle Wellwood on the top line with Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little. The move pushed Blake Wheeler to the second line with Alexander Burmistrov and Nik Antropov. Wheeler has been less than effective this season, with one assist and no goals despite taking 22 shots.
“I’m just trying to get people to go,” Noel said in explaining the change.
Wheeler tried to take the change in stride, joking that maybe his line mates requested the move. “It’s kind of one of those things right now where you are doing pretty much everything except for putting it in the net,” Wheeler said.
The Jets have also put defenceman Ron Hainsey on the injured reserve list with an upper body injury. That cleared the way for centre Ben Maxwell to join the club. He’ll be on a line with Evander Kane and Mark Scheifele.
Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Kyle Wellwood
Alexander Burmistrov, Nik Antropov, Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane, Ben Maxwell, Mark Scheifele
Tanner Glass, Jim Slater, Chris Thorburn
Tobias Enstrom, Dustin Byguflien
Mark Stuart, Zach Bogosian
Johnny Oduya, Randy Jones.