Claude Noel

Noel exasperated by ‘demoralizing’ Jets power play


After going 0-for-5 with the man advantage during Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Colorado, Winnipeg now finds itself with the NHL’s fifth-worst (11.8 percent) power play.

For head coach Claude Noel — who saw the unit finish dead last (13.8 percent) last season — enough is enough.

Noel went on a lengthy complaint during last night’s postgame scrum. Video’s below, but here are the transcribed highlights:

“The power play’s getting old, but these are the same players that we had last year. I think what we’re proving is there’s a reason why we were last last year.

“At the end of the day, we don’t make the greatest decisions. We don’t execute, and this is the same stuff we lamented about before. We all know and you guys know it ended up costing us the game. We were 0-for-5. It cost us the game, because it’s a momentum-killer.

“It’s like shooting yourself in the foot over and over. It does a lot of things to you, and none of it’s positive. It demoralizes you, takes momentum away and it adds frustration.”

Sounds awesome!

As mentioned, here’s the clip. The good stuff starts around 2:20.

One has to wonder how much longer Noel has in Winnipeg. The Jets are off to another uneven start (5-6-2) despite the fact they’ve played eight of their first 13 games at home.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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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 now 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.