Since its start in 1999-2000, the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets have never won a playoff game. After a 5-6-1 start to the shortened campaign, they aren’t on course to end that trend anytime soon.
Head coach Claude Noel isn’t ready to throw in the towel, but he’s not happy with his team and isn’t shy about showing it.
“I don’t like the way we play,” Noel bluntly said, according to the Winnipeg Sun. “I just don’t think that we play hard enough. We have to play hard.
“We have to win more battles and we have to play with way more urgency. If you’re asking me if I’m happy, we’re okay. We’re one game below .500. There isn’t a panic or anything, but we know we can get better, we know we can play better.”
Jets forward Blake Wheeler and captain Andrew Ladd both think that part of the problem is the team’s lack of consistency.
Things won’t get any easier for Winnipeg on Friday when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins, but on the plus side, it looks like defenseman Zach Bogosian (wrist) is ready to make his season debut. The Jets also have 24-year-old forward Eric Tangradi, who they recently acquired from Pittsburgh after dealing Alexei Ponikarovsky in a separate trade.
“Tangradi is a younger player and kind of plays the same way (as Ponikarovsky). I know our people like him. I’ve seen him play and I’ve coached against him a little bit,” said Noel.
“He’s a young guy with good size. When I watch him play, I see some good things and I see some other things that are okay. I’ll be looking for some consistency in his play. That sometimes comes with maturity.”
Maybe those additions will be the difference for the Jets going forward.