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Jets are ‘bogged down by all the negativity,’ says Wheeler

Feb 19, 2013, 12:12 PM EDT

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On a three-game losing streak and with one of the worst records in the NHL, the Winnipeg Jets (5-8-1) are having trouble staying positive.

And that’s a serious problem, according to forward Blake Wheeler.

“What’s happened with our team, we’re just so bogged down by all the negativity,” Wheeler said Monday, per the Winnipeg Sun.

“There’s so much negativity. We feel it… and it’s deserving. When you lose games that’s kind of the way it goes.

“But the biggest problem is not that we’re not trying… we’re just suffocating ourselves with all the expectations.”

Speaking of negativity, Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel provided a blunt assessment of his team’s performance last week.

“I don’t like the way we play,” said Noel. “I just don’t think that we play hard enough. We have to play hard.”

If his words were meant to be motivating, they didn’t work. On Friday, the Jets lost to Pittsburgh. On Sunday, they fell to the Bruins, 3-2, in a game they led 1-0 and 2-1.

Tonight, they kick off a five-game road trip in Buffalo, with tough tests in Carolina, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York (Rangers) to follow.

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