By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
Claude Noel was positive heading into Monday night’s tilt with the Calgary Flames but if there was one thing his team needs work on, it is the their tendency to let games slip away from themselves.
“Usually, you like to think forward rather than look back,” said Noel. “I think we have got better…but the part that keeps rearing itself is how we are finding ways to give up the game. So the result is killing us.
“Those are hard games to play, they really test a lot of different things. How you stick with the game plan, your skill level; they test a lot of things the way that teams play like that and a lot of teams play like that in the West. They play that 1-0 game and they wait. You really got to be organized as a team, your focus has to be really good.”
Noel, despite the poor play of the Flames of late — 0-5-1 and haven’t won a game since November 3rd — is aware of the threat they pose to his club.
“We have to be ready to play this game,” Noel said. “You can’t look at the standings or anything like that. This is a game we have to be ready to play. They are sitting here waiting for us. We know what they have had to face the whole season and the last game they played; there is enough fuel for them to play.”
Back-to-back games for the Jets have been an issue in their first two seasons back in the NHL. In 2011-12 the Jets finished with disappointing 2-9-1 in the second game of back-to-back’s. 2012-13 wasn’t a whole lot better at 3-5-0 and this season the Jets dropped their only one, 4-1 to the Dallas Stars.
Jets’ defenceman Zach Redmond knows the team needs to get back into the win column.
“Everyone knows that we need to get back on track,” said Redmond. “Getting the win tonight would be putting us right back to where we were and I think we are going to be coming out hard for sure.”
Meanwhile, Al Montoya will get the start for the Jets after five straight starts for Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec will have to wait until Thursday to try and get his 100th win of his career in his 250th game played. Montoya will look for his third win of the season after dropping a 4-1 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks his last time out. It is worth noting that Montoya is 2-0 at home this season.
Scott’s Scribbles: Mark Stuart practiced again today but has yet to test out his injured hip in a contact setting. He hopes to be cleared to play Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Jacob Trouba skated again with the team Monday. Still a little ways off, Trouba says he is getting his strength and conditioning back as well as still healing his neck. Zach Bogosian is still week-to-week with a groin injury.