Ramblings: Some more post-mortems (TOR, VGK, NSH, WSH), Babcock, “The Penalty”, Mrazek and more (Apr 29)

Dobber

2019-04-28

Ramblings: Some more post-mortems (TOR, VGK, NSH, WSH), Babcock, “The Penalty”, Mrazek and more (Apr 29)

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Four more teams were eliminated last week. Here are my thoughts on those teams, the players, and what the future holds…

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Mike Babcock issue – I’ve heard from a lot of Leafs fans (I live in a small city outside of Toronto called Pickering, so I have a lot of exposure and full disclosure: Leafs and Penguins are my favorite teams, and I’m also very partial to the Oilers and Jets). In my effort to avoid over-talking about the Leafs (and Penguins, for that matter) I probably have the opposite result and don’t discuss them enough here. Leafs fans are pissed off and many – not all, but many – want to see Babcock go. What a pantload that notion is. Toronto was a team that was dead last, and four years later they hit 100 points three times. Fire the coach? Really? This is a team that Babcock could have coached past Columbus, NY Islanders, Carolina and Washington. I would have dropped a lot of money on them once they got past the Bruins. To me, that Game 7 was for the Stanley Cup. They lost. Did Babcock screw a few things up? Of course – most coaches would have screwed a few things up, though each would have made different types of mistakes. Babcock’s was to play Patrick Marleau in too many key situations, not shake up his lines, not put Auston Matthews out there enough, and not rein in Nazem Kadri. But the reality is this is a young team and they just gained valuable experience. They completely understand that there is no taking the foot off the gas at all. Ever. Next year you will see how this experience helped them. Babcock easily deserves another year, don’t be silly. This should not have even been