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Jets' coach Claude Noel shakes up top line

Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel has opted to shake things up on his top line. REUTERS/Fred Greenslade

Fred Greenslade/Reuters

Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel is desperately trying just about anything to motivate his team, including mixing up the top line.

The Jets, who have just one win in six games, play the Carolina Hurricanes tonight in Winnipeg. The Hurricanes, who are 3-2-2, lost Friday to St. Louis 3-2 in overtime.

"We have to be a lot better there's no question," Noel said this morning.

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"To me there are no excuses it's time to start winning here."

Noel has decided to put Kyle Wellwood on the top line with Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little. The move pushed Blake Wheeler to the second line with Alexander Burmistrov and Nik Antropov. Wheeler has been less than effective this season, with one assist and no goals despite taking 22 shots.

"I'm just trying to get people to go," Noel said in explaining the change.

Wheeler tried to take the change in stride, joking that maybe his line mates requested the move. "It's kind of one of those things right now where you are doing pretty much everything except for putting it in the net," Wheeler said.

The Jets have also put defenceman Ron Hainsey on the injured reserve list with an upper body injury. That cleared the way for centre Ben Maxwell to join the club. He'll be on a line with Evander Kane and Mark Scheifele.

Jets lines:

Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Kyle Wellwood

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Alexander Burmistrov, Nik Antropov, Blake Wheeler

Evander Kane, Ben Maxwell, Mark Scheifele

Tanner Glass, Jim Slater, Chris Thorburn

Defence:

Tobias Enstrom, Dustin Byguflien

Mark Stuart, Zach Bogosian

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Johnny Oduya, Randy Jones.

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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