Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel is starting to learn the harsh realities of what it’s like to coach the team that used to be called the Atlanta Thrashers. After last night’s loss to Florida, Noel couldn’t help but be frustrated about how the team played and how he just doesn’t have the horses needed to win.
Harvey Fialkov of the Florida Sun-Sentinel gets the word from Noel about how he wishes he had the superstar power to help them overcome adversity.
“Do I like the one goal we get every game? No,” said Noel. “Would I Iike to see it change? Yes. Do I coach that way? No. That’s what we have, but there’s still a way to win the games. We don’t have (Sidney) Crosby or (Evgeni) Malkin. We’ve got what we’ve got.
“Our team right now can’t give up 20 minutes of free freakin’ play and expect you’re gonna be able to win the game.”
The Jets don’t have Crosby or Malkin but they also don’t have Evander Kane thanks to a concussion and they’re just getting Dustin Byfuglien back into the flow of things after his injury.
Things will get better eventually, but for now it’s one of those slumps. Rather than being upset about what he doesn’t have, Noel should stay focused on how the Jets have a shot at making the postseason instead.
For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.
The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win. They’ve spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.
It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.
Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)
Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.
This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.