Jan 6, 2014, 3:08 PM EDT
The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Winnipeg Jets 6-5 Sunday afternoon, and apparently they weren’t too impressed with the structural play of their opponents.
From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Dejan Kovacevic:
I have only ever heard the Penguins speak derisively of another team’s system once in recent years, and that was right after Buffalo passed through with the laughably-over-his-head Ron Rolston at the helm. The Sabres were flat-out clueless. Just humiliating. And it wasn’t long, of course, before Rolston got canned.
I heard much the same yesterday about the Jets. One player said they have “no structure.” Another said they had “no real plan for what they’re doing.” Yet another called them “really just a strange team.” All concerned, it should be noted, praised the talented individuals on the Winnipeg roster. It was hard not to be impressed with some of them on this day alone. But the focus clearly was aimed at Claude Noel’s system or, if he has a system, the evident failure to execute it.
Predictably, Twitter has had a few things to say in the wake of the above’s publication.
From Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press:
it's fine for a team with crosby and malkin to chirp about systems. what's their system? give the puck to two of the best in the world?—
gary lawless (@garylawless) January 06, 2014
But getting back to the Jets, who’ve now lost three straight in regulation and sit well back of a playoff spot in the Western Conference — bad system, no system, or good system with not enough good players, it’s hard to see Noel keeping his job past this season if their consistency issues remain.
It’s also hard to see general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff not making any serious roster changes. Evander Kane‘s name has come up frequently in trade rumors. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear Dustin Byfuglien‘s name come up in a few going forward, especially given his recent struggles.
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