Forums/Armchair-GM

As a rational Leafs fan lets discuss Babcock

Created by: CapFriendlysFinest
Initial Creation Date: Oct 27, 2019
Published: Oct 27 at 12:15 pm
Team: 2019-20 Toronto Maple Leafs
Team Explanation
Whats wrong with the team? Is the back to backs? Is it the coaching? Is it the players? I think its a little of all.

I want to start with that I am pro Babcock, I like the guy, and its clear to me he was told this season he needed to make changes to his game plan or he would be out of a job. I like how Matthews has been playing more mins a night, I like that Nylander has stayed on either of the top two lines, I like how the lines seem to be meshing well.

But my biggest problem I think with Babcock is hes stubbornness to change. Which could cost him his job. With the Leafs having so many back to backs I understand wanting to start both goalies. Here is my problem, when your starter plays the first game every single time, when the team is fresh, youre probably going to win (leafs record in the first half of a back to back is 3-0-1) and when you start your back up when your team is tired, you'll probably lose (Leafs are 0-3-1 on second night). So why not change it up? Start Anderson against the better team and on the back night. or better yet, when Anderson faces 17 shots only against the Sharks, start him the next night. Players are paid millions of dollars a year and youre telling me they cant play in back to back nights? BS and we all know it.

Babcock also needs to work on getting his team into the final two mins with the big guns out, not the fourth line. The Goat has been great this year, but with 2 mins left he shouldnt be out trying to get a game tying goal or keeping the puck out of his own net. Babcock needs to get the dressing room back ASAP or he could lose his job.

I would give Babcock to the end of November to figure this out, if by that time the team is still around a 500 playing level , I would look at removing him. I just think hes style of coaching of dump and chase doesnt work with the current Leafs team which is skill and attack. You can see it on all the lines. With Hyman out, Kap JT and Marner all expect someone else to get the puck for them when its dumped in and scored, none of them do. Same with Johnsson, Matthews and Nylander.

How short is his time? Or do you think he can turn it around?
I for one hope so.
Trades
TOR
  1. 2021 3rd round pick (PIT)
PIT
  1. Petan, Nicolas
  2. 2020 6th round pick (COL)
Buyouts
  • Mikhail Grabovski: $0
Retained Salary Transactions
  • Phil Kessel: $1,200,000 (15%)
DRAFT YEARROUND 1ROUND 2ROUND 3ROUND 4ROUND 5ROUND 6ROUND 7
2020
TOR
CBJ
TOR
VGK
TOR
CAR
EDM
SJS
STL
WPG
2021
TOR
TOR
TOR
PIT
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
2022
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
ROSTER SIZESALARY CAPCAP HITOVERAGES BONUSESCAP SPACE
21$81,500,000$81,322,143$0$70,000$177,857
Left WingCenterRight Wing
TOR
Johnsson, Andreas
$3,400,000
LW
UFA - 4
TOR
Matthews, Auston
$11,634,000
C
UFA - 5
TOR
Nylander, William
$6,962,366
RW, C
UFA - 5
TOR
Hyman, Zach
$2,250,000
LW
NTC
UFA - 2
TOR
Tavares, John
$11,000,000
C
NMC
UFA - 6
TOR
Marner, Mitchell
$10,893,000
RW
UFA - 6
TOR
Mikheyev, Ilya
$925,000
LW, RW
RFA - 1
TOR
Kerfoot, Alexander
$3,500,000
C, LW
UFA - 4
TOR
Kapanen, Kasperi
$3,200,000
RW
RFA - 3
TOR
Timashov, Dmytro
$694,444
LW
RFA - 1
TOR
Gauthier, Frédérik
$675,000
C
RFA - 1
TOR
Moore, Trevor
$775,000
RW, LW
RFA - 2
Left DefenseRight DefenseGoaltender
TOR
Rielly, Morgan
$5,000,000
LD
UFA - 3
TOR
Holl, Justin
$675,000
RD
UFA - 1
TOR
Andersen, Frederik
$5,000,000
G
NTC
UFA - 2
TOR
Muzzin, Jake
$4,000,000
LD
UFA - 1
TOR
Barrie, Tyson
$2,750,000
RD
UFA - 1
TOR
Kaskisuo, Kasimir
$675,000
G
RFA - 1
TOR
Dermott, Travis
$863,333
LD
RFA - 1
TOR
Ceci, Cody
$4,500,000
RD
UFA - 1
ScratchesInjured Reserve (IR)Long Term IR (LTIR)
TOR
Shore, Nick
$750,000
C
UFA - 1
TOR
Clarkson, David
$5,250,000
RW
NMC NTC
UFA - 1
TOR
Horton, Nathan
$5,300,000
RW
NMC NTC
UFA - 1

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Oct 27 at 12:27
#1
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 841
Likes: 246
You can look at the coach, but he has made some.changes in deployment this year. Frankly this is about a blueline still learning to.play together. Asnof this moment, only Reilly and Muzzin were aying minutes of any meaning at this point last year. And although Ceci has frankly surprised me, the rest has been a revolving door to find the mix. Dermott's return will help, but I suspect this will be an ongoing mess.
Trickster liked this.
Oct 27 at 12:33
#2
Thread Starter
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 606
Likes: 122
Quoting: swinny
You can look at the coach, but he has made some.changes in deployment this year. Frankly this is about a blueline still learning to.play together. Asnof this moment, only Reilly and Muzzin were aying minutes of any meaning at this point last year. And although Ceci has frankly surprised me, the rest has been a revolving door to find the mix. Dermott's return will help, but I suspect this will be an ongoing mess.


I agree the D has been a mess but I think its only a matter of time. Barrie is still getting his feet wet and i suspect him to turn it around soon. Dermott has been one of my favorites and honestly would love to see him on the right side of Reilly. Muzzin has been great, Ceci has been what I expected and the other D have been AHL standard.
Oct 27 at 12:36
#3
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 4,903
Likes: 1,210
not all the blame is on babcock. its the personnel he has to work with as well. hutchinson wasn't horrible last night. the biggest problem with the leafs is defense. all 5 of mtl's goals were due to poor defending by the leafs, the defensemen and forwards. the leafs were horrendous last night. they allowed wayyyy to many high danger scoring chances against them. and yes, idk why babcock would play hutchinson vs the habs, when the point matchup that matters more, is within the division. these points the leafs lost, could be the difference between a wild card spot, missing the playoffs, or top 2 in the division. as much hype as the leafs get, the leafs were only 4 points ahead of the Habs last season, and that was with a really good pp, offense and mid tier defense. mtl on the other hand had a mid tier defense, mid teir offense, but horrendous pp that cost them 2 points to make the playoffs. if the habs pp was running at 20%, they would have made the playoffs over the leafs. also mtl lost 2 OT games against the leafs. if they have those games, again, better chance on mtl making the playoffs. now the leafs defense can only be so much improved by coaching. the personel on the ice don't hink defensively. i didn't see matthews back check all night, last night. despite the talk that he should be a selke candidate, the only good play ive seen him make defensively was on dubois a few games back. he just doesn't care unfortunat;y about the defensive side of the game. same for the defense. reilly was just trash last night. he's way to aggressive. same for muzzin, whose supposedly your best defensive d-man. u can't be that offensively focused vs a team like mtl thats faster than you, will beat u to every puck and will work harder than you. i don't blame babcock. its dubas's fault that he's spent all this money on these forwards (some of them deserve it), but he hasn't improved the defense in any way, shape or form.
GMs and Captain_Koivu_ liked this.
Oct 27 at 1:02
#4
Waive4WPG
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,070
Likes: 405
I’d love to see the marlies coach take over. He’s a stud.
blowing_the_zone liked this.
Oct 27 at 2:29
#5
Habs4life
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 342
Likes: 37
After the leaf fans run Babcock back to to Detroit. Which player are you going to turn on and run out of town? I'm going to guess and say Mathews and Rielly. Next season will be Anderson.

I've this happen so many time with the leafs. Build a soild base with GM/ headcoach take it apart and the team falls apart only to do it all over again.

Its a ugly cycle in Toronto.
Y
Oct 27 at 3:57
#6
LongtimeLeafsufferer
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 28,394
Likes: 6,488
Quoting: Captain_Koivu_
After the leaf fans run Babcock back to to Detroit. Which player are you going to turn on and run out of town? I'm going to guess and say Mathews and Rielly. Next season will be Anderson.

I've this happen so many time with the leafs. Build a soild base with GM/ headcoach take it apart and the team falls apart only to do it all over again.

Its a ugly cycle in Toronto.
Y


I know it's subjective, but from what I see, Babcock shouldn't be an NHL head coach. His game management is terrible and has been awful for years, costing the Leafs points and I certainly believe the 2018 playoff series. Leafs wouldn't run Babcock to Detroit? What nonsense. The only reason to be he should be fired is the Leafs management think they can do better as head coach.

I don't know why he call ugly cycle in Toronto. Building a solid foundation and then taking it apart. Certainly the last years of Quinn, the years of Ferguson, Burke, and Nonis...that was not solid foundation. Terrible GMs. So it's not factual that Leafs have history of dismantling a solid foundation.
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Oct 27 at 4:16
#7
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 937
Likes: 949
Quoting: CapFriendlysFinest
I agree the D has been a mess but I think its only a matter of time. Barrie is still getting his feet wet and i suspect him to turn it around soon. Dermott has been one of my favorites and honestly would love to see him on the right side of Reilly. Muzzin has been great, Ceci has been what I expected and the other D have been AHL standard.


My concerns about the D coming into this season were pretty big based on what was being said about Barrie by analysts and nothing I've seen has calmed those concerns.
Analysts were saying Barrie is Gardiner-lite...so far, that's about spot on.

Rielly: I (amoung others) thought he was on his way to becoming a top point producing D while being slightly above average defensively. With not having Hainsey, Rielly has looked terrible at times. That makes me think Hainsey had more to do with Rielly's success than I (or anyone) really thought.
Rielly needs to be better defensively, case closed.

Ceci has his good monuments and bad ones. Overall better than I expected.

@Trickster , @Jamiepo , @Jangle29, @Bcarlo25 your opinions guys?
Trickster and palhal liked this.
Oct 27 at 4:36
#8
BtZ's buttercup
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2,605
Likes: 1,407
Quoting: oneX
My concerns about the D coming into this season were pretty big based on what was being said about Barrie by analysts and nothing I've seen has calmed those concerns.
Analysts were saying Barrie is Gardiner-lite...so far, that's about spot on.

Rielly: I (amoung others) thought he was on his way to becoming a top point producing D while being slightly above average defensively. With not having Hainsey, Rielly has looked terrible at times. That makes me think Hainsey had more to do with Rielly's success than I (or anyone) really thought.
Rielly needs to be better defensively, case closed.

Ceci has his good monuments and bad ones. Overall better than I expected.

@Trickster , @Jamiepo , @Jangle29, @Bcarlo25 your opinions guys?


Ceci is better than Hainsey, that doesnt mean I'm saying Ceci is good.

Barrie off to slower start than I thought.


Fact, this D has played 12 games together and all pairs are different from last season.
Dermott will slowly make this D look better by bumping Ceci to bottom pair.

Rielly, I never that he was top shelf material.
He was always a notch below due to his lack of defensive game, so far this season it's very much visible.

Holl and Ceci should be the bottom pair D once Dermott is back and as long as Barrie finds his game we will get better.


If you switch all pairs on D for any team this kind of result is likely to think anything else is silly.
They need to learn to play together which will take time.

Babcock staying or going, it's not looking good but I'd bet money that managment will show more patience with him then us fans.

Hes been here since 2015, at least 2 years was rebuild, I would not be surprised even a little if they gave him 2 years including this year to show what he can do.
Next year for sure that seat his will start to get warm.
oneX liked this.
Oct 27 at 5:06
#9
LongtimeLeafsufferer
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 28,394
Likes: 6,488
At least right now....Gardiner is better than Barrie, Zaitsev is better than Ceci and Hainsey is better than any Holl/Marinicn, Sandin combo. Plus Dermot is injured. Reilly has been carelessly reckless at times this year
So the Leafs have taken a hit on even their middling defence from last year.

I don't know if Shanahan and the owners have the savvy/courage to fire Babcock. IMO they should. The Leafs have in the past 20 years have a long history of player buyouts and firing executives and coaches. So won't be a question of money if Babcock gets fired. He has to be fired at the latest if the Leafs aren't playing in May 2020
Oct 27 at 5:24
#10
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2,127
Likes: 1,532
Quoting: palhal
At least right now....Gardiner is better than Barrie, Zaitsev is better than Ceci and Hainsey is better than any Holl/Marinicn, Sandin combo. Plus Dermot is injured. Reilly has been carelessly reckless at times this year
So the Leafs have taken a hit on even their middling defence from last year.

I don't know if Shanahan and the owners have the savvy/courage to fire Babcock. IMO they should. The Leafs have in the past 20 years have a long history of player buyouts and firing executives and coaches. So won't be a question of money if Babcock gets fired. He has to be fired at the latest if the Leafs aren't playing in May 2020


Barring some massive turn around over the next few weeks I think they need to shake things up, and the easiest way to do that is to can Babcock. As you rightly point out in a separate thread, the way the leafs are playing this season is nothing new - they've been close to a 500 team since last December.

You and a few others have speculated that he's lost the room - I'd agree with that. All coaches are hired to more or less be fired later on. Before the leafs start into roster surgery, I think they need to see what a new coach can do with this squad.

Re: Shanahan and the rest of the brass having the guts to fire Babcock. Well, if courage is the only thing holding them back from making this decision then they should be the next ones sent packing. Increasingly, I'm getting the sense that there's a bit too much ego/personality connected with the leafs. They talk alot about creating a family atmosphere on the team and in the locker room. Who really knows what that's like unless you're part of the room, but from the outside looking in it seems to me that there's more than a few guys who put themselves ahead of the team.
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Oct 27 at 5:57
#11
BtZ's buttercup
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2,605
Likes: 1,407
Quoting: blowing_the_zone
Barring some massive turn around over the next few weeks I think they need to shake things up, and the easiest way to do that is to can Babcock. As you rightly point out in a separate thread, the way the leafs are playing this season is nothing new - they've been close to a 500 team since last December.

You and a few others have speculated that he's lost the room - I'd agree with that. All coaches are hired to more or less be fired later on. Before the leafs start into roster surgery, I think they need to see what a new coach can do with this squad.

Re: Shanahan and the rest of the brass having the guts to fire Babcock. Well, if courage is the only thing holding them back from making this decision then they should be the next ones sent packing. Increasingly, I'm getting the sense that there's a bit too much ego/personality connected with the leafs. They talk alot about creating a family atmosphere on the team and in the locker room. Who really knows what that's like unless you're part of the room, but from the outside looking in it seems to me that there's more than a few guys who put themselves ahead of the team.


Agree wit you and @palhal but not sure Leafs managment does.
oneX and blowing_the_zone liked this.
Oct 27 at 6:10
#12
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 937
Likes: 949
Quoting: blowing_the_zone
Barring some massive turn around over the next few weeks I think they need to shake things up, and the easiest way to do that is to can Babcock. As you rightly point out in a separate thread, the way the leafs are playing this season is nothing new - they've been close to a 500 team since last December.

You and a few others have speculated that he's lost the room - I'd agree with that. All coaches are hired to more or less be fired later on. Before the leafs start into roster surgery, I think they need to see what a new coach can do with this squad.

Re: Shanahan and the rest of the brass having the guts to fire Babcock. Well, if courage is the only thing holding them back from making this decision then they should be the next ones sent packing. Increasingly, I'm getting the sense that there's a bit too much ego/personality connected with the leafs. They talk alot about creating a family atmosphere on the team and in the locker room. Who really knows what that's like unless you're part of the room, but from the outside looking in it seems to me that there's more than a few guys who put themselves ahead of the team.


Both you and @palhal made good points on different things and you and I already admitted to maybe Hainsey being a bigger part of Rielly's success.

@Trickster makes a good point about needing more time for these D pairs...but seeing as the Leafs are not racking up the points in this part of the season, it's a huge concern because the second half of the will be tougher.
Trickster liked this.
Oct 27 at 6:21
#13
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 90
Likes: 9
Realistically you'd be lucky to get a 5th for petan and one of our 7ths
Oct 27 at 6:50
#14
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2,127
Likes: 1,532
Quoting: oneX
Both you and @palhal made good points on different things and you and I already admitted to maybe Hainsey being a bigger part of Rielly's success.

@Trickster makes a good point about needing more time for these D pairs...but seeing as the Leafs are not racking up the points in this part of the season, it's a huge concern because the second half of the will be tougher.


Yeah, I think Trickster makes a good point about the d needing to get used to each other. And I think that it'll only help when Dertmott comes back. But I still think the biggest problem is the systems that Babcock is deploying more so than the personnel he has at his disposal.

Going back to Palhal's point re: how they've been a 500 team since last December, if I remember correctly, they came out of the gates like gangbusters last season and were routinely outscoring their opponents at will. Iirc, the team's slide to mediocrity and 500 hockey began pretty much at the same time as when he tightened the screws to their offense. Babcock didn't like all those high scoring games that they were winning last year.

And I think that's the rub. Babcock doesn't coach to the team's strengths. He coaches to his strengths. And I think that's where the mismatch lies. He's not the right guy to take this team to the next level, imo.

So, there's two choices really i) make a bunch of trades to get players that fit Babcock's idea of a good team or, ii) trade Babcock and bring in a coach who can play to this team's strengths. Choice number 2 makes more sense to me.
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Oct 27 at 7:53
#15
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 937
Likes: 949
Quoting: blowing_the_zone
Yeah, I think Trickster makes a good point about the d needing to get used to each other. And I think that it'll only help when Dertmott comes back. But I still think the biggest problem is the systems that Babcock is deploying more so than the personnel he has at his disposal.

Going back to Palhal's point re: how they've been a 500 team since last December, if I remember correctly, they came out of the gates like gangbusters last season and were routinely outscoring their opponents at will. Iirc, the team's slide to mediocrity and 500 hockey began pretty much at the same time as when he tightened the screws to their offense. Babcock didn't like all those high scoring games that they were winning last year.

And I think that's the rub. Babcock doesn't coach to the team's strengths. He coaches to his strengths. And I think that's where the mismatch lies. He's not the right guy to take this team to the next level, imo.

So, there's two choices really i) make a bunch of trades to get players that fit Babcock's idea of a good team or, ii) trade Babcock and bring in a coach who can play to this team's strengths. Choice number 2 makes more sense to me.


I've said it a few times....a balancing of money spent on forwards and D is needed very badly.
I think late into this season will say alot about that.
Trickster liked this.
Oct 27 at 8:43
#16
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2,127
Likes: 1,532
Quoting: oneX
I've said it a few times....a balancing of money spent on forwards and D is needed very badly.
I think late into this season will say alot about that.


I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you on that. And I'm sure it'll be addressed at some point for no other reason than the math will dictate that it needs to ie. Rielly is the only d locked up next year, and even if we're banking on both Sandin and Lilly being in the lineup on elcs next year something still probably needs to give in order to fill out the d core.

I'm just saying the problems are deeper than that. There's nothing terribly wrong with a d core of Rielly/ Ceci, Muzzin/Barrie, Dermott/Holl when compared to d groups from across the league The problem is that our overall team d game and structure sucks. And my guess is that it'll continue to suck regardless of what d we could legitimately garner in a trade. It's because of the way that we're playing the game. I think that's on the coach.
palhal liked this.
 
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