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.”
- Wild get important win vs. Preds (and some luck, too) 2
- Trading baggage: Blue Jackets grab Clarkson, send Horton’s contract to Leafs 57
- Panthers acquire Jagr from Devils 28
- Trotz doesn’t see a ‘big, sexy, difference-maker guy’ on the market 16
- What’s up with the reports of problems in the Blackhawks’ room? 40
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight 80
- Lombardi happy to get ‘one of the better defenseman on the market’ in Sekera 3
- NHL on NBCSN: Wild need two points from NHL-leading Preds 21
- Video: Potential No. 1 overall pick Connor McDavid goes end-to-end, top shelf 9
- Video: Penguins hold on to beat Capitals for first time this season 29
- Leafs’ Rielly apologizes for insensitive remarks (86)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (81)
- Chiarelli understands scrutiny on GM and coach, but says, ‘It’s unfortunate that we’re under review for one year’ (69)
- ‘I don’t know why we’re so comfortable,’ says Toews after loss to Avalanche (69)
- Report: Alex Petrovic avoids discipline after injuring Patrick Kane (65)