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Sports Desperate to snap out of slump, the Leafs had seen enough of Babcock

15:17  21 november  2019
15:17  21 november  2019 Source:   sportsnet.ca

Babcock: Leafs' grind-it-out win vs. Kings 'good for us'

  Babcock: Leafs' grind-it-out win vs. Kings 'good for us' Mike Babcock might not have been too impressed with his Toronto Maple Leafs after they squeezed out two points against the lowly Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, but he saw the game as a stepping stone. "We need to go through that," the head coach said postgame, according to Yahoo Sports' Justin Cuthbert. "We need to figure out who we are, and the harder the game is for us the better it is. "Would you like to win by a touchdown and everyone relaxes and all that? Yeah, but we're not getting anywhere like that. This is important to do.

They had seen enough of Babcock . The Leafs are much closer to the bottom of the NHL standings right now than the top and have been free falling. They haven’t played with a lead in a game since Nov. 5 — a remarkably inept stretch given that they have three superstar forwards earning over million

decided to send Mike Babcock packing on a cold Arizona afternoon speaks to how desperate they believe this www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/ desperate - snap - slump - leafs - seen - enough - babcock / … Don’t be surprised if this doesn’t fix it # Leafs .

Mike Babcock, Auston Matthews are posing for a picture: Mike-Babcock© Provided by Rogers Media Inc Mike-Babcock

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Call this one of the stranger days you’ll have around an NHL team.

It started with Mike Babcock coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs through a remarkably upbeat 25-minute practice, joking with reporters that he only held one because the losers of six straight games encountered a rare rainy day in the desert.

“Now, I would tell you the sun got up, but as you know today it didn’t,” he said. “But it’s out there for sure.”

An hour later, Babcock was summoned to Brendan Shanahan’s hotel room and told he was no longer the coach of the Leafs. The team president flew in from Toronto on Wednesday morning to fire him in person alongside general manager Kyle Dubas.

Babcock: I'll coach 'as hard as I can, as long as I can'

  Babcock: I'll coach 'as hard as I can, as long as I can' With speculation about his job security running rampant, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock is confident he'll get his team back on track. "I'm gonna do it as hard as I can, as long as I can. I've always bet on Mike Babcock, I'll continue to bet on him," the Leafs' bench boss told TSN on Monday. "I'm gonna do it as hard as I can, as long as I can. I've always bet on Mike Babcock, I'll continue to bet on him," the Leafs' bench boss told TSN on Monday.

While the Leafs have so far rebuffed trade inquiries, Friedman said they’ll see how things go over the next month. Chris Johnston believes this isn’t the right Like the Flames, the Leafs have the talent and sufficient time to snap out of their current slump and climb back up the tightly packed standings.

Seeing that I only have to read twenty pages is a lot less daunting than seeing a thousand page book. If you work a little every day, you've suddenly read Clarissa. My favorite way to get out of a reading slump is to listen to an audiobook. It' s like making someone else do the work for you.

“It wasn’t an easy conversation to have and it wasn’t pleasant,” said Shanahan. “Days like today are not.”

That management decided to send Babcock packing on a cold Arizona afternoon speaks to how desperate they believe this situation is. A cleaner break could have been made at the end of the week, but that would have required waiting another two games before putting Sheldon Keefe behind the bench.

They had seen enough of Babcock.

The Leafs are much closer to the bottom of the NHL standings right now than the top and have been free falling. They haven’t played with a lead in a game since Nov. 5 — a remarkably inept stretch given that they have three superstar forwards earning over $10 million and a roster that is supposed to be deep enough to contend for the Stanley Cup.

Toronto Maple Leafs fire head coach Mike Babcock, promote Sheldon Keefe to role

  Toronto Maple Leafs fire head coach Mike Babcock, promote Sheldon Keefe to role TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Mike Babcock replaced him with Sheldon Keefe. Babcock had a record of 9-10-4 in 2019-20 for the struggling Leafs, who are 0-5-1 in their last six games, including five straight losses in regulation. Hired as part of Toronto's massive rebuild in the spring of 2015, the 56-year-old Babcock went 173-133-45 in his four-plus seasons with Toronto. After signing the richest coaching contract in NHL history at US$50 million over eight years, Babcock got Toronto to the playoffs the last three straight seasons, but was unable to advance beyond the first round.

As Nurse explained, the two have had conversations before over the years and the Raptors bench boss seemed to like what he heard and saw from Babcock . Desperate to snap out of slump , the Leafs had seen enough of Babcock .

The left winger has played 11 games without a goal since his contract impasse with the Maple Leafs “I’m working to get better every game and I feel like it’ s coming.” Leafs coach Mike Babcock is doing He thinks he’ s close to breaking out of the slump at last: “I felt better the last game, and I feel like I’m

“I think that we feel that we haven’t played up to our expectations this year. I think that there are key elements to our game and some attention to detail that has been missing often this year,” said Shanahan.

“We’re mistake-prone on defence, the attention to details aren’t there and even the explosive offence our team was known for has been missing for a while now.”

That last point strikes to the heart of the issue with Babcock — a man who once took the speed and skill of Team Canada and coached it into a relentless, tight-checking beast on the way to winning gold at the 2014 Olympics.

That’s simply not how Dubas wants the Leafs to play. He’s bet big on skilled offensive players in constructing this roster and has designs on seeing it become a puck possession monster.

This marks the third time he’s hired Keefe and there will be no question about whether the coach and GM share the same philosophy now. That was always an undercurrent with Babcock — who was hand picked by

Mike Babcock's coaching peers praise ex-Maple Leafs bench boss after firing

  Mike Babcock's coaching peers praise ex-Maple Leafs bench boss after firing TORONTO — While his team has performed well early this season despite losing its top player from last year's championship team, Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse acknowledged Wednesday wasn't an easy day. Hours before the Raptors tipped off against the Orlando Magic at Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Maple Leafs fired head coach Mike Babcock and replaced him with Sheldon Keefe. Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment owns both teams and the arena — and the two coaches got to know each other over the years."I've obviously known him for a little while and had some good conversations with him," Nurse said. "It's very tough.

“I have a tremendous amount of gratitude to Mike Babcock for coming here, laying the foundation for what we had wanted to accomplish,” Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan told reporters after the firing Desperate to snap out of slump , the Leafs had seen enough of Babcock . 51 minutes ago.

The Leafs have been so much less than the sum of their individual parts through 23 games that you have to question the roster construction as critically as Mike Babcock ’ s decisions behind the bench. Desperate to snap out of slump , the Leafs had seen enough of Babcock .

Shanahan to lay a foundation for the laughably bad Leafs back in 2015, but whom Dubas inherited when he was elevated from the assistant GM post in May 2018.

Babcock had two 100-point seasons in Toronto and three playoff appearances, but couldn’t get the team past the first round. His job security first came under scrutiny when Dubas decided not to give him a vote confidence immediately after a Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins in April and the seat grew warmer even when he was retained.

Babcock returned with two new assistants — Paul McFarland and Dave Hakstol — and a revamped roster, and the belief was he’d get the season to take the Leafs to the next level. But the team never seemed to click, no doubt in some small part because of injuries and a schedule loaded with back-to-backs, and the eighth-winningest coach in NHL history was fired before the eighth week of the season.

You got the feeling in recent days that Babcock sensed this was coming. He made a couple quiet comments that suggested he was under fire and issued a defiant defence of his record to reporters following Monday’s practice in Las Vegas: “I’m going to do it as hard as I can, as long as I can. I’ve always bet on Mike Babcock. I’ll continue to bet on him.”

How much do Toronto Maple Leafs owe Mike Babcock?

  How much do Toronto Maple Leafs owe Mike Babcock? Babcock's eight-year deal with Toronto was set to last through the 2022-23 season.It'll be in Babcock's bank account.

He has sipped championship champagne from the same mug as current Leafs Andreas Johnsson, Justin Holl, Trevor Moore, Frederik Gauthier, Dmytro Timashov, Travis Dermott and Martin Marincin. Desperate to snap out of slump , the Leafs had seen enough of Babcock .

You just have to stick with what you bring.” The Leafs forward group remains relatively unchanged from last “The thing about it, is he’ s mentally tough enough that it doesn’t even bother him,” Babcock said. It’ s turning out to be one of the best deals in terms of value for any Leaf not currently on an

However, the wheels were already in motion on his dismissal by that point.

Shanahan and Dubas had likely seen enough after Saturday’s 6-1 pounding to Penguins in Pittsburgh, which is why a better effort in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights wasn’t enough to delay the inevitable.

“I think it really just came down to the last couple of weeks and it got to the point where we spoke in the last 48 hours and, again, I just felt that it was something that needed to be done and Kyle felt the same way,” said Shanahan. “Seeing as I had been the one that hired Mike, I thought that it was very important for me to get on a plane this morning and fly here and face Mike.”

There was an unusual feeling in the air at the team’s upscale resort shortly after the news became public. Players filed into a board room where they were addressed by Dubas while Shanahan held a short impromptu press availability.

This was the one card management had to play with the season starting to slip between their fingers. A tight salary cap situation will limit the Leafs to money-in, money-out transactions leading up to the Feb. 24 trade deadline and it’s quite possible they don’t make any notable acquisitions at all.

Shanahan said he believed in his players — 12 of whom have spent time with Keefe at the American Hockey League level. Firing Babcock was the easiest way to send a shock through the group before they dug an even deeper hole.

“When you think that you know what the right decision is you have to act on it,” said Shanahan. “I think that waiting at this point would have just been the wrong thing.”

Which is how a 700-win coach ended up walking the plank on this most unusual of days in the desert.

Former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser backs Mike Commodore's aggression toward Mike Babcock .
Mike Commodore let loose on his views of the former Maple leafs coach following his termination on Wednesday.Former Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser is the latest individual to share a few thoughts on the Mike Babcock-Mike Commodore feud. Fraser, who spent two out of his seven seasons in the NHL with Toronto, backed Commodore's aggressive analysis of Babcock and offered some intriguing insight into how NHL players may view Babcock.

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