A five-game losing streak cost Claude Noel his job as Winnipeg Jets coach Sunday. Now it's up to Paul Maurice to turn things around.
Maurice, who has coached more than 1,000 games in the NHL, will make his debut as Jets coach Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes at MTS Centre. He last coached in the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes and guided them to the Eastern Conference Final in 2009.
"I believe that having Paul coaching our group is going to help push us, and I mean us as [in] our management staff as well," Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said. "There are going to be some outside eyes coming in critically evaluating our roster and that's going to help us make decisions moving forward."
Here's a closer look at the action Monday:
Calgary Flames at Carolina Hurricanes -- Calgary has lost seven of its past eight games, five by shutout. The Flames open a two-game road trip in Carolina, which begins a three-game homestand and will try to avoid losing back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since Nov. 29 and Dec. 1. Hurricanes center Eric Staal, who has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury, returned to practice Sunday.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets -- The Lightning have won seven of their past eight road games and ended the Philadelphia Flyers' 10-game home winning streak Saturday in a 6-3 victory. Forward Valtteri Filppula has 16 points in the past 13 games. Columbus has won three in a row and moved within three points of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Phoenix Coyotes at Winnipeg Jets -- The Coyotes will try to avoid a three-game losing streak after losses to the Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks this past week knocked them out of a playoff position. Phoenix lost four of six games on its recent homestand while being outscored 16-7. Maurice returns behind an NHL bench for the first time in more than two years; he was fired as Carolina's coach in November 2011. Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has three goals and three assists in his past five games and played on the top forward line Saturday in a 6-3 loss to the Blue Jackets.
Vancouver Canucks at Los Angeles Kings -- The Canucks could have goalie Roberto Luongo and defenseman Alexander Edler back in the lineup after each practiced Sunday and will join Vancouver on its three-game road trip. The Canucks ended a five-game skid with a 2-1 win against the St. Louis Blues on Friday. The Kings will conclude their five-game homestand Monday; they are 2-1-1 after a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.