Noel part of the Jets’ problems?
Noel’s choice of words should be a red flag. If he believes the team is good enough to make the playoffs but he can’t get the most out of them, he’s admitting that coaching is part of the problem.
Noel must have cast a few jealous glances across the ice to see Panthers coach Kevin Dineen getting so much out of a patchwork lineup Tuesday night.
And he knows it’s his job to do the same with the Jets.
He didn’t even have the benefit of a practice Wednesday as it was a CBA-mandated day off for the players, but you can be sure Noel wanted to work on something right away. A good, old-fashioned bag skate would have been in order in a normal season.
“To me we have enough (talent),” Noel said. “You are going to have a hard time convincing me that we don’t. But that’s what I’ve got to get across to our team. It’s not like it hasn’t been brought up, but it has to go deeper than that. You’ve got to take it to another level. That’s what you do as a coach … you’ve got to find the buttons to keep going. Why do you have this area where it looks like we are satisfied? Where does that come from? It certainly doesn’t come from me.”
You can be sure Andrew Ladd is not satisfied, nor Blake Wheeler, Ondrej Pavelec and Mark Stuart. No one on the team would admit to being satisfied with 11th place.
And yet there was no passion, no desperation, no intensity in a big divisional contest. There were no-shows throughout the lineup and a bunch of players trying to figure out how they could let it happen at such as pivotal time.
Nobody was pointing fingers publicly but it was clear no one brought out the best in those 18 players when their best was needed.