Monday Musings: Winds of change sweep through Winnipeg | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaMonday Musings: Winds of change sweep through Winnipeg

Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 | 08:00 AM

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Claude Noel went 80-79-18 as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets, who fired him Sunday. (Marianne Helm/Getty Images) Claude Noel went 80-79-18 as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets, who fired him Sunday. (Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

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This week's Monday musings deals with the Winnipeg Jets change behind the bench, the red-hot Anaheim Ducks, the how some teams will feel the effects of the Olympics more than others and Petr Nedved.

Some Monday morning musings from the NHL and rest of the hockey world to prepare you for the upcoming week that will see:

  • The old Jets franchise, the Phoenix Coyotes, returns to Winnipeg on Monday in a game that will also see the debut of head coach Paul Maurice behind the Jets bench.
  • Kootenay Ice forward Sam Reinhart and Barrie Colts defenceman Aaron Ekblad will captain Team Cherry and Team Orr, respectively, at the CHL Top Prospects game in Calgary on Wednesday.
  • Boston Bruins veteran Loui Eriksson, who returned on Saturday after missing more than a month with a concussion, returns to Dallas on Thursday to face his old team for the first time since the Stars traded him last summer.
  • Hockey Day in Canada will be celebrated in the Alberta-Saskatchewan border town of Lloydminster on Saturday.
  • Last year's Stanley Cup combatants, the Bruins and Blackhawks, clash in Chicago in a matinee on Sunday.

Noel out in Winnipeg

The last time Maurice was a mid-season replacement behind a NHL bench was when he took over the Carolina Hurricanes for a second time after 25 games in 2008-09 and pushed them all the way to the Eastern Conference final.

Now the 46-year-old native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., gets another chance when the Jets decided to fire Claude Noel on Sunday following a five-game losing streak and a slide to 25th overall.

This is the fourth coaching change in the NHL since the start of the season and, for the most part, the changes have been for the better.

  • After the Philadelphia Flyers started the season with three losses in a row, Peter Laviolette was fired and replaced by Craig Berube. The Flyers have gone 23-16-4 under Berube.
  • The Florida Panthers let go Kevin Dineen after a 3-9-4 start on Nov. 8 and replaced him with Peter Horachek. The Panthers have gone 14-12-3 with their new coach.
  • A week later, Ted Nolan replaced Ron Rolston after a 4-15-1 start behind the Buffalo Sabres bench and have a 9-11-4 record with Nolan at the helm.

Just ducky

The Anaheim Ducks managed to sneak out a 1-0 victory at home over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday to keep a couple of remarkable streaks in tact.

The Ducks, now first overall in the NHL, became only the fifth team in NHL history to win 17 games in an 18-game span. The 2009-10 Washington Capitals, 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins, 1981-82 New York Islanders and 1967-68 Montreal Canadiens all won 17 games in an 18-game span. Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau also coached the Capitals during their streak.

At 19-0-2, Boudreau's Ducks are the only team yet to suffer a regulation loss at home this season and have become only the fifth team in the last 40 seasons to record at least a point in each of its first 21 games.

  • Philadelphia - 19-0-7 in 1979-80
  • N.Y. Islanders - 19-0-4 in 1978-79
  • San Jose - 20-0-2 in 2008-09
  • Anaheim - 19-0-2 in 2013-14
  • Boston - 19-0-2 in 1973-74

The Ducks will attempt to extend their impressive streak at home to 22 games against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.

Hiller's heroics

If Switzerland's silver-medal performance at the world championship last spring wasn't enough of a warning that it will be a medal contender at the Sochi Olympics, then maybe the play of Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller has hammered home the point.

With his 22-save shutout against the Red Wings on Sunday, Hiller won his 14th in a row. It's the second-longest goalie win streak in league history.

17 - Gilles Gilbert (Boston) Dec. 26, 1975 to Feb. 29, 1976

14 - Jonas Hiller (Anaheim) Dec. 6, 2013 to Jan. 12, 2014

14 - Tom Barrasso (Pittsburgh) Mar. 9 to Apr. 9, 1993

14 - Don Beaupre (Minnesota) Feb. 6 to March 19, 1986

14 - Ross Brooks (Boston) Oct. 31, 1973 to Feb. 28, 1974

14 - Tiny Thompson (Boston) Dec. 3, 1929 to Jan. 9, 1930

13 - Chris Osgood (Detroit) Jan. 30 to Mar. 20, 1996

13 - Eddie Johnston (Boston) Jan. 31 to Mar. 18, 1971

Olympic weariness

When the NHL resumes after the Sochi Olympics, it may be worth keeping an eye on teams like the Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Ducks, New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins. The first three lead the way in Olympic participation with 10 players apiece. Montreal is next with eight and the latter three have seven each.

After the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games, no NHL team with seven or more players in the Olympics has won the Stanley Cup. Out of the 11 clubs that have had that many Olympians, only the San Jose Sharks have advanced past the second round of the playoffs.

Here's a breakdown of 2006 and 2010:

2006

  • Carolina (three Olympians) - defeated Edmonton (four) in Stanley Cup final.
  • Colorado (10) - swept in second round by Anaheim.
  • Detroit (10) - knocked out in first round by Oilers.
  • N.Y. Rangers (9) - swept in first round by New Jersey.
  • Dallas (7) - eliminated in first round by Avalanche.
  • Ottawa (7) - beat by Buffalo in second round.
  • Tampa Bay (7) - ousted by the Senators in first round.

2010

  • Chicago (six Olympians) - defeated Philadelphia (four) in the final.
  • Anaheim (8) - did not make the post-season.
  • San Jose (8) - swept in Western final by Blackhawks.
  • Boston (7) - beaten by the Flyers in second round despite 3-0 series lead.
  • Detroit (7) - eliminated in second round by Sharks.
  • Vancouver (7) - knocked out in second round by Blackhawks.

Nedved's anniversary

When 42-year-old Petr Nedved suits up for the Czech Republic at the Sochi Olympics, it will be only his second Winter Games. His first was as a member of the silver-medal Canadian Olympic team in Lillehammer, Norway, two decades ago.

Nedved defected from the former Czechoslovakia at age 17, when he was playing in a midget tournament in Calgary. After the 1992-93 season, Nedved became embroiled in a contract dispute with the Vancouver Canucks. He then became a Canadian citizen in order to play for Canada at the Olympics.

The next time Nedved played internationally was for the Czech Republic in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and not again until the 2012 world championship, when, at age 40, he became the oldest to score a goal in the worlds for his country.

Nedved hasn't played in the NHL since March 3, 2007, when he was with Edmonton. He has performed back home in the Czech Republic for the past seven seasons and has a decent campaign going as team captain with HC Bili Tygri Liberec. He has scored 13 goals and 36 points in 37 games.

By the numbers

3 - Career game-winning goals for Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar, the latest coming Saturday, a day after his father passed away in Slovakia.

6 - Of the past seven games, Florida Panthers defenceman Brian Campbell has played more than 30 minutes. His 27:54 average ice time is second behind the 29:38 of Minnesota Wild's Ryan Suter.

1984 - The year newly anointed Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine was drafted in the fourth round (69th overall) by the Los Angeles Kings.

.501 - Career win percentage for new Jets head coach Paul Maurice (460-457-167) and four playoff appearances in 13½ NHL seasons.

.507 - Career win percentage for ousted Jets head coach Claude Noel (90-87-24) with no playoff appearances.

15,524 - Fans showed up at Madison Square Garden to watch Yale beat Harvard 5-1 in the 239th meeting between the rival schools.

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC

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