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First Noel: Jackets interim coach embraces the joy

NHL.com @NHL

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -Since becoming the interim head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets a week ago, Claude Noel (CLOAD' no-EL') has made the transformation from popular assistant to respected head coach.

He's 2-0 with 22 games left to the end of the season. He has a short leash to prove that he can handle the job permanently.

What he's looking for is something more than wins. With a young team, he just hopes the players, and the team, improve.

Noel has surprised some with his strict coaching style. The Blue Jackets say he's much more of a disciplinarian than his fired predecessor, Ken Hitchcock.

So far, even the veterans are buying into what he's selling.

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