With only a whiff of a hint and an uncertain one at that of what he might do in the coming few days Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel did have one phrase to sum up his game plan for the next few days. For the team's final two pre-season games both against the Boston Bruins and starting tonight at the MTS Centre Noel has to make a lineup and a roster-determining strategy out of: "different agendas I have to put together." For tonight at home and Friday night in Saskatoon Noel has one eye firmly focused on the first game that counts next Tuesday's Game 1 of the NHL regular season in Edmonton. But he's also got some unresolved battles within the lineup. The team has 24 skaters remaining in training camp and there is only room for 21 of them on the roster that must be submitted and approved by the NHL on Monday afternoon. The majority of spots are set but the list of names will have something do with the preference to keep eight defencemen or seven and 14 forwards or 13 where the combination obviously must equal 21. "It really depends but a lot of times you go with two extra forwards and seven defencemen" the coach said asked what his past preference has been. "That's kind of the way you go but it really depends on who the players are and what you've got and what your needs are. "I know I'm not giving you clear-cut answers but they're not clear-cut right now." He said some of the final decisions will be made on the basis of how much toughness -- or not -- the Jets prefer. As for tonight much was unclear including the availability of defenceman Zach Bogosian who left Monday's pre-season game in Edmonton. He did not skate on Wednesday. "He's day-to-day" Noel said. "Is he a player Thursday? We're not sure yet." The Jets were able to get their workout down to one group on Wednesday for a first time that helpful in itself Noel said. "The problem you get part-way through camp is that your numbers are too big for one group and too small for two groups and it's kind of in between" he said. "I felt today was better from a managing standpoint. A lot better for the players too."
Options for Jets lineup clear as mud
Winnipeg Free Press | Sep 26