By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
Winnipeg Jets (14-13-4) head coach Claude Noel says his team will not focus on being back playing in the Western Conference as they get set to face off against the St. Louis Blues (19-6-3) on Tuesday night.
Noel said the recent road trip is not on his players minds or his own and that his team needs to be ready against a team on a bit of a slide.
“We don’t mention to much about the road trip and coming back,” said Noel. “We’ve done that a few years back but we don’t bring that up anymore. We know the opponent, they are a well-coached team…they defend well and play a heavy game.
“It will be a good game; you got to be ready for them. I don’t think it really matters, I think the fact that they have hit a bump in the road just makes it more ornery for them, so we have to be ready to play.”
The Blues’ “ornery” attitude that Noel is referring to is a result of the Blues having just one win in their last four games, giving up 15 goals across those contests and 14 in the three losses.
“We have got behind the ball early in games,” said Alexander Steen who has scored 20 goals this season. “We have got a little away from our game in the last week here or two but our focus is to get back on the page we were on before and bring back that work ethic and details in our game.”
Meanwhile, Noel said Jacob Trouba’s consistency, as a young player, has impressed him.
“The biggest attribute I think he has is his ability to shake stuff off and keep moving forward,” he said. “For a young player, he doesn’t really get rattled, but that is his biggest strength.
“He has some bumps but he deals with them really well. When you look at his game, he has been a very consistent player for us and that is also odd for a young player as they go through different things.”
Ondrej Pavelec will be between the pipes tonight for the Jets while 200-feet down the ice Brian Elliot will start in goal for the Blues.
Scott’s Scribbles: In case you haven’t heard it already, the Winnipeg Jets will host the 2016 Heritage Classic outdoor hockey game at Investors Group Field.