Winnipeg Jets head coach vows, 'We're going to win here'
Claude Noel and players acknowledge fans' frustration with losing streak
Winnipeg Jets fans are frustrated with the Winnipeg Jets, which are trying to kick a four-game losing skid, but head coach Claude Noel insists he still has a winning team.
Fans booed during the Jets' last game on Tuesday, in which the team lost 4-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on home ice.
The Jets will try to score a win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday at MTS Centre.
In the meantime, Noel says he and the players understand the frustration fans are feeling right now.
"We feel their pain. We're hoping they'll still support us in the next game," Noel told reporters on Thursday.
The head coach said changes will be made to get the team back on track.
As well, Noel promised Winnipeggers they will get the winning team they are expecting — it just won't happen overnight.
"We're going to win here one day. I'm hoping to be here one day, we are going win here one day," he said.
Some fans demand change
The Jets' recent misfortunes have had some fans demanding change, or at least a better performance on the ice.
"When they're playing the Chicago Blackhawks or Pittsburgh Penguins, I find it weird how they can play up to their level … as opposed to when they play a team like Edmonton, where they'll lose," said Cam Holm.
Fans have been criticizing Dustin Byfuglien for his performance in recent games, with some demanding the defenceman's dismissal.
"At risk of drawing the ire of a large part of the population, I would consider dumping Buyfuglien," said fan Jim Wallace.
Byfuglien and other players say they are tuning out the negativity and focusing on their chemistry on the ice.
"We just got to worry about ourselves in here," Byfuglien said.
"That's, you know, the bottom line: we just got to find our own way, we can't worry what other people think."
Said forward Bryan Little, "It's probably how we found ourselves in the position we are right now … a lot of negativity and a lot of bad thoughts."