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Mike Babcock’s First Season With The Toronto Maple Leafs

from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,

“Our challenge as a coaching staff — we’ve got to get ’em to play better,” Babcock told reporters after Monday’s practice. “I think when you evaluate the coaching you can give them a pretty hard mark.”

For Babcock to admit that he and his staff haven’t made grade-A-worthy impact amounts to the very definition of pain; he wants to win every night, every period, every shift. Still, for a Leaf fan-base convinced the organization’s depth chart still needs to be further stocked with elite draft picks, the underwhelming results are a lottery-friendly recipe for progress.

Certainly they are a big reason why almost nobody seems upset about the ongoing struggles of the blue and white. The long-palpable angst of Leafs Nation has turned, in some ways, to apathy. There’s a feeling the club is in good hands. But as for the day when those good hands will be held accountable for their deeds — well, it remains a long way off. Last month Babcock started talking about a “10-year” process to transform the Leafs into Stanley Cup contenders. As in, he’ll need a contract extension before this thing really gets rolling.

If nothing else, he is making a case he’s the sporting world’s reigning grandmaster in the managing of expectations. And as for the business of coaching players? To be fair, there have been heartening signs during Toronto’s first four months under Babcock’s control.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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