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Title - HH
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Time to promote Keefe, let Babcock go
By Ken Reaburn
HometownHockey.ca

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Time to promote Keefe, let Babcock go
Mike Babcock has to receive his share of the blame as well for the failure of the Toronto Maple Leafs this year. His system left a lot to be desired. His love for the stretch pass cost them all season long. It took Babcock too long to figure out the positives in Johnsson and Kapanen. He juggled his lines right up to the playoffs.
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Windsor - April 26, 2019 - At the beginning of the season, I said the Leafs would take this season to learn how to win and then win the cup next year. However, I don’t think they were given the opportunity to learn anything this season.

I remember that a couple Leaf pages I belonged to drove me crazy with all the dribble about how great everyone was and how the fourth line would be top six on any other team. The talk on how they were going to be some scoring machine, setting all these records drove me nuts. The endless love affairs with Andersen, Tavares, Marner and Matthews was tiring. I also refused to kneel at the feet of the God Babcock.

Turns out the four players mentioned are human after all. Andersen makes some great saves but most goalies do. But few have Andersen's history of letting in the softie at the most inopportune time. His ugly habits rose again the last two games. Each game he managed to have two per game go right through him. I honestly do not believe they win the cup with him. They may have good seasons but are not going to win the cup.

The other three superstars are one way hockey players. They are complete liabilities in their own zone, clueless on their responsibilities. If they did manage to track down the puck, they too many times did not get the puck out of their zone. Offensively they were very streaky, unable to all play well at the same time.

Mr. Babcock has to receive his share of the blame as well. His system left a lot to be desired. His love for the stretch pass cost them all season long. Not only did they rarely connect, when they did the forward was usually standing still and had no support so usually dumped it in or lost it on a solo attempt. A lot of the blame on the Dmen can also be traced to the stretch pass. They often played short in their own zone, with no one in position for a breakout pass. Turnovers and scoring opportunities were often the result.

It took Babcock too long to figure out the positives in Johnsson and Kapanen. He juggled his lines right up to the playoffs. His third line ended up being a player not as good as he once was, a player not as good as he should be, and a player that never was very good.

I think it is time to promote Keefe from the Marlies, to replace Andersen and to put in a system that allows the talents of the team to thrive yet play more team defense. I do not get paid to think so you can bet the farm that none of my wishes here will come to pass. You will see another one hundred point season and another playoff run that disappoints.

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Title - Top Ten Scorers
# PLAYER TM GP PTS PPG
86 Kucherov, Nikita 821281.56
97 McDavid, Connor 781161.49
88 Kane, Patrick 811101.36
29 Draisaitl, Leon 821051.28
87 Crosby, Sidney 791001.27
63 Marchand, Brad 791001.27
13 Gaudreau, Johnny 82991.21
29 MacKinnon, Nathan 82991.21
91 Stamkos, Steven 82981.20
16 Barkov, Aleksander 82961.17
Stat Database Last Updated:
Apr. 07, 2019 @ 8:55 AM EDT

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