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Analysis: Goal prevention led to Noel's downfall

Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 3:56 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

When the Atlanta Thrashers became the Winnipeg Jets, the franchise came to Manitoba with a collection of young, offensively gifted players and a penchant for yielding far too many goals to be a successful NHL team.

When Claude Noel was hired as the first coach of the Jets version 2.0, one of his objectives had to be to help these young players keep the puck out of their own net. Two-and-a-half seasons into Noel's tenure, goal prevention remained the greatest roadblock to the franchise's success, and it is the reason for the end of his time as Winnipeg's coach.

The Jets have allowed 141 goals in 47 games this season, which puts them tied for 25th in the League in goals against per contest. Winnipeg was tied for 24th at 2.94 goals per game last season and 26th at 2.95 per contest two seasons ago.

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With Noel gone, scrutiny shifts to Jets players

Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 3:05 PM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets' firing of coach Claude Noel and hiring of veteran NHL boss Paul Maurice jolted the dressing room of a team that has lost five straight games and sits in last place in the Central Division.

Noel took the job after the team relocated from Atlanta in 2011 and is the franchise's third coach to have been replaced since the start of the 2008-09 season, joining John Anderson and Craig Ramsay.

"I think it always comes as a shock," Jets captain Andrew Ladd said Sunday at the team's practice facility. "I don't think anyone expected it [Sunday] morning. It's not an easy day. Good people lose their job. Ultimately it came down to the performance of the people in [the dressing room]."

The Jets have received the message that if they do not recover with Maurice behind the bench, some of them will join Noel as ex-members of the organization.

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Tatar honors late father after game-winning goal

Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 12:31 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Detroit Red Wings left wing Tomas Tatar kissed his index finger and pointed toward the heavens.

"That game and that goal was for him. I felt he was with us the whole game."
-- Detroit Red Wings F Tomas Tatar on his late father

Moments earlier, Tatar knocked in a rebound with 7:54 left in the game Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings that was anything but an ordinary goal and worth far more to Tatar than just being the game winner in the Red Wings' 3-1 victory.

Goal No. 10 on the season was part of a two-point night for Tatar, who has scored in each of his past three games, and it was for family. Tatar's gesture honored his father Jan, who died Friday in Slovakia following a long illness.

Playing with a heavy heart, Tatar also came through late in the first period by setting up Riley Sheahan's first NHL goal.

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Daily Primer Jan. 12: Ducks seek seventh straight win

Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Can the Detroit Red Wings put an end to the Anaheim Ducks' remarkable run at Honda Center on Sunday night?

Anaheim, the only team that has yet to lose in regulation on home ice this season (18-0-2), became the seventh team in NHL history to win 16-plus games in a 17-game stretch (16-1-0) with a 5-3 win against the host Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.

The Ducks return home to face the Red Wings (8 p.m. ET, FS-D, PRIME), who could be without Daniel Alfredsson (back spasms), Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), Johan Franzen (head), Darren Helm (groin), Jonathan Ericsson (broken ribs), Stephen Weiss (hernia) and Jonas Gustavsson (groin).

Here's a closer look at the action Sunday:


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Rangers' Kreider turning potential into production

Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

Chris Kreider was an NHL record-setter before he ever played a regular-season game.

Kreider, the 19th player chosen at the 2009 NHL Draft, scored five goals for the New York Rangers during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, sparking a run that carried them within two wins of their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 1994. He did it despite coming in cold: Kreider signed with the Rangers after the regular season because he was busy helping Boston College win the NCAA championship.

His five postseason goals broke Eddie Mazur's 60-year-old mark for the most playoff goals by a player who had yet to skate in a regular-season game. Though Kreider was used to being a star -- he is a two-time NCAA champion at BC and a goal medalist at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, this was a new kind of fame that found him in a New York minute.

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It's a little different but it feels amazing. A new chapter in my life and I'm excited. It's been amazing. Better than I expected. The weather is great, the place is just amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm glad to get the season going.

— Ryan Kesler on his transition to the Anaheim Ducks