Mar 23, 2012, 1:07 PM EST
Winnipeg’s season could be made or broken tonight in Washington.
The Jets come in five points back of the eighth-place Capitals with a game in hand, and this will be last time Winnipeg plays Washington this season. Ergo, this is one of Winnipeg’s last opportunities for a four-point swing.
Huge game, no doubt. But it’s not like Jets head coach Claude Noel needs to explain that to his team.
“I don’t know at this time of the year if you need a lot of motivation [speeches],” Noel wold the Winnipeg Free Press. “I think all of your players know it, they sense what’s happening.
“You don’t have to draw pictures for them and I don’t think you need to sit there at this level and give them the rah-rah speech. They pretty much know what’s going on.”
That’s an amusing quote from one of the league’s more candid coaches. Noel’s about as blunt as they come — earlier this year, he asked why his guys were “playing like American league players” — so no surprise he laid all his cards on the table.
The game is huge and the Jets have to win. Players know it, coaches know it, fans know it. No big secret.
“[The players] are the ones that really need to care,” Noel continued. “All of us care, but they’re the ones that need to care and they do. We just get them prepared and prepared to perform so that there’s nothing new.
“It’s not like we’re sitting there going, ‘How does Washington play?’ We know how they play, we know what we want to do and away we go. Put your game out there and away we go.”
- PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Ovechkin’s great big year of disappointment 4
- PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Kings win Cup, Martinez the OT hero 0
- Welcome to PHT’s top 14 stories for 2014 0
- Scott suspended four games for punch that was ‘neither predictable, nor acceptable’ 23
- Sharks’ Scott has hearing for his punch to Jackman 29
- (Video) PHT Extra: Christmas wish lists from around the NHL 2
- PHT interviews Don Maloney, who knows he has a big trade chip in Vermette 7
- Backstrom to start for Wild, who need their goalies to be ‘better’ 13
- NHL on NBCSN: Avs challenge Blues after narrow losses to St. Louis 6
- Gaudreau’s first hat trick helps Flames stun Kings 7
- Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski (75)
- Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit (55)
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno (47)
- Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving? (43)
- Panthers hold off Penguins for shootout win (42)