Zapping Bolts not easy
Ken Wiebe, QMI Agency
|Tampa Bay Lightning's Pavel Kubina (R) battles for a loose puck with Winnipeg Jets' Blake Wheeler during the first period of a NHL hockey game in Tampa, Florida October 29, 2011
The Tampa Bay Lightning are coming off a 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, but still boast plenty of firepower.
The Jets opponent tonight can also play a stifling defensive system — a 1-3-1 trap that has come under fire during the past week — as the Jets found out in a 1-0 loss in Tampa on Oct. 29.
“They’ll dumb it down and wait to live off the counter (attacks),” Noel said. “They’ve got some players that play 25, 28 minutes a night and they’re big, expensive items that are good. They pose some issues and we have to control them.”
As for what he’d like to see from his team, Noel got straight to the point.
“I’d like us to play four lines with energy and I’d like us to play with intelligence and execution, that would be good,” Noel said. “When we do that, we play pretty good but it has to be as a group. We have to be better.”
Lightning head coach Guy Boucher dug into his sports psychology bag of tricks on Sunday, cancelling a scheduled practice to give his players a day of “self-assessment.”
MEECH ON MEND: Winnipegger Derek Meech will be out of the Jets lineup for another six-to-eight weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery for the second time in 2011.
The defenceman has been limited to two games this season and hasn’t played since Oct. 20.
After undergoing surgery this summer, Meech aggravated the injury in practice and going under the knife again was the best option.
“In talking with him, he feels it went better than the first time they did it in the summer,” Noel said. “The swelling wasn’t as bad, pain wasn’t as bad. He feels a little bit more ahead.”
Forwards Blake Wheeler and Tanner Glass missed Sunday’s workout, but Noel hopes both players will be available for Monday night.
Already on the sidelines for the Jets are right-winger Eric Fehr (shoulder) and defencemen Toby Enstrom (collarbone), Ron Hainsey (upper-body), Randy Jones (ankle) and Brett Festerling (upper body).