NHL Notes: Jets fire head coach Claude Noel

NHL Notes: Jets fire head coach Claude Noel
January 12, 2014, 2:30 pm
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Claude Noel went 80-79-18 during his tenure with the Winnipeg Jets. (USA Today Images)

CSNPhilly.com/AP

TORONTO -- Claude Noel has been fired as coach by the Winnipeg Jets and replaced with Paul Maurice.

Noel was fired amid a five-game losing streak that dropped the Jets to 19-23-5 and 10 points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Noel, hired after the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg before the 2011-12 season, went 80-79-18 during his tenure with the Jets.

Assistant Perry Pearn was also fired.

Maurice inherits a team that has struggled in its third season in Winnipeg thanks in part to inadequate goaltending and defensive breakdowns. The 46-year-old has been behind the bench as an NHL head coach for 1,084 games (see full story).

-The Associated Press

Red Wings: Howard suffers hip flexor injury
Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard was spectacular in the Red Wings' 3-1 win over Los Angeles on Saturday, turning aside 43 of 44 shots fired his way.

However, Howard -- who made just his fifth start since returning from a knee injury -- sustained a hip flexor injury during the contest and will not play on Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks, according to MLive.com (via ProHockeyTalk).

Detroit expects Howard to serve as a backup to Jonas Gustavsson, so his injury isn't believed to be serious.

Howard is one of Team USA's three goaltenders for the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi. If he's not available, Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop, who has been sidelined because of a wrist injury, will take his place.

The 29-year-old Howard isn't having his best season, statistically speaking. He is 8-10-8 with a .913 save percentage and 2.67 goals-against average in 26 games.

-CSNPhilly.com

Devils: Jagr says he'll play until he's 70
In New Jersey's 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday, Jaromir Jagr claimed sole possession of seventh place in the NHL's all-time points list, passing former teammate and Penguins legend Mario Lemieux.

Jagr isn't done yet, either. He suggested after the game that he would play until he's 70 to make up the 1,133 point gap that remains between him and "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky.

“Hey, I can do it,” Jagr told the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti. “If somebody can do it, I can do it.”

Of course Jagr was joking, but the 41-year-old doesn't look like he's ready to retire anytime soon. He has 13 goals and 36 points in 46 games this season and has looked strong for the offensively-challenged Devils.

As pointed out by ProHockeyTalk, Gretzky isn't a realistic goal, but he may end up surpassing Steve Yzerman, Marcel Dionne and Ron Francis on the all-time points list.

-CSNPhilly.com

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