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Noel... 3-1-1 is Joy to All

by Bill Davidge / Columbus Blue Jackets

February 17

Claude Noel has brought joy to the locker room with his "interim" position as head coach of the CBJ. The team is playing with little burden on their minds. They have been spared some of the overloading of their individual circuits. Anytime there is a change in leadership, it does take time for another philosophy to unfold. It is commonplace for first 10 or so games to be played strictly on emotional energy. It will take time to get back to the "will and the skill" of the team, but in this current short term, it is apparent to all of us, that the team is playing a different game.

The coach is aware of it. He is living proof. Claude is so pure to his intentions and experiences, it is scary. He has won before. He is dumb like a fox, but his approach to team building does not go much further than the "Leo Buscaglia" philosophy of life. It endears its base around the comforting words... love and trust. He is allowing his young generation of talent to "explore their kinosphere" and experience the time, flow and space of the game and the ice that it is played at a high tempo. In relationship to human movement and the hypothesis that Claude is clinging to his belief, is in direct correlation to "Laban's Theory of Movement." Freedom of movement and freedom of self-created space allow each player to play their game... and this is so apparent in the short five-game stint of Claude Noel.

His desires for the entire team lie solely in the legs and the feet of the team. They must be moving at all times. He pushes the pace and the tempo to accentuate the speed of the game. He wants inclusion of the defense to be part of the rush, but stresses the importance of being intelligent and smart in the decision making of all.

He trusts them. He knows that the players care... they care for each other and do not want to let each other down. Losing the tough game against Vancouver was a good example of this care. A goal that beat them on this given night was a pure break for the Canucks. There was no feeling sorry. There was an honest sense that "we are better than that" attitude. It swelled and perpetuated the locker room as the entire team sat in disgust.

The players needed a break. It has been a hectic schedule for all of us as the Olympic break forced so many games in such a short period time. The coaches needed a break... but the guy that needs a break the most was Claude Noel. His thought process is his and only his, and not one that any of us can duplicate. When one thinks of this and that, he thinks of that and this. He is off to Las Vegas with his lovely wife. It is not to bet, but to sit back and enjoy the Vegas shows, the weather and the time off. He needs to clear his mind.

If you are in Vegas and you are a gambler, a word of advice... do not bet against Claude. He has his faith and his trust. It is all about joy and love and the players are following suit... it is hearts... now it is your turn to show your cards!!

Stay tuned!!

*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Bobby Mac's Blog," "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings." The Columbus Blue Jackets radio and television analysts will try to keep you updated on all the season action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets are on the road.

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