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Jets Journal: Rest bite

by Kristi Hennessy / Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets were given the day off following their 2-1 loss to the NY Rangers Monday night.

The players will enjoy the day of rest before they hit the road Wednesday to play seven games in 14 days starting in Philadelphia on Thursday. Two of the seven games are against division rival Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Jets are currently at the bottom of their division with five points.

"You'll see a different side of us on the road," Noel told media Tuesday. "If we're going to be a playoff team, which I think we're capable of doing, you're going to have to win on the road, there's no question. Your target has to be being a 500 team. We're a little ways away from that but that's the first step. You've got to win one and then you go from there, it's no different then at home."

Although the Jets win-loss column does not display solid success at the moment, Noel is positive that the team is moving forward and that the wins will start to fall into place soon enough- "it just takes time."

"The biggest challenge is finding ways to win but I think we're taking steps in the right direction," he said. "Winning will show up. We just have to continue doing things the right way and playing the right way and these things will work themselves out."

The Jets are 22nd in the league in the goal department, scoring 17 goals in eight games. Third period scoring has been the weakest link having scored just one goal and outscored 10-1.

"Weather you look at first period, second period or third period, they're not coming in droves," said Noel after the Rangers game Monday night. "I think if you watched or asked the players, a lot of them would like to be gettin' going. It's not something that has been easy for us to obtain weather it's the third period or whatever, they're just not coming very easily."

“That’s the difference in winning or losing," said Chris Mason after Monday's loss. "We’re getting there, but we just seem to be having a tough time putting it all together in back-to-back games.”

Nik Antropov, the lone goal scorer against the Rangers says everyone on the team is feeling the frustration of not scoring in the third period.

"At one point we were in their (Rangers) zone for about three minutes and the rule worked, if you don't score, you get scored against and that's exactly how it worked out." Antropov commented on the third period efforts Monday night.

Noel believes in setting targets for his group, reachable targets. He says his focus isn't on the entire road trip, it is merely a focus to win the first game and move on from there.

"You have to have targets for your team to reach. You just have to always be able to always reassess your targets. If you think that they are too far away,  then you have to reign in the targets and make them closer and more reachable."

The lines will continue to juggle until the right combinations are found and so will the goalies. Noel revealed very little as to what he has in mind as far as who plays with who and who will be in the crease for the Jets come Thursday.

"It'll continue because we're trying to get people unclogged so it'll continue for a bit and we'll sort through that stuff.

"Anytime you can create competition within your team it's healthy." said Noel on the goaltender situation.

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