Oct 8, 2011, 3:01 PM EDT
Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel might be a bit biased, but he believes his team can be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference.
With the Jets’ season opening on Sunday afternoon against the Montreal Canadiens, Noel is taking front and center in Winnipeg discussing the team, the situation, and the mad house that Winnipeg is leading up to the reintroduction of the NHL in the city. Noel says that while he’s enjoying every bit of the moment, he believes that the Jets can make the postseason.
We know that a coach has to be positive about everything going into the year, but if you took the title away from Noel and had him look at things as a casual observer (you know, like us) he’d see there’s not a lot to be hopeful of in Winnipeg. Ondrej Pavelec will need to play out of his mind in goal, Mark Scheifele is going to need to be a Calder Trophy finalist, and Dustin Byfuglien will need to have another 20-goal season from the blue line to make the Jets even be a threat for the playoffs.
Noel has to go into the season feeling positive and Winnipeg is going to love this team win or lose this season, but with how teams have toughened up in the East and the moves other teams have made, Winnipeg being last year’s Thrashers in new clothing doesn’t change the fact they’re going to have a hard time winning games.
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