With just one regulation win in their past nine games, something has to change for the Toronto Maple Leafs, right? RIGHT!? Apparently not, according to Leafs head coach Mike Babcock. The Leafs’ bench boss has heard the cries for change from fans and media members alike, but he remains confident in the team’s makeup as currently constructed.
When questioned about his lineup decisions yesterday, Babcock bristled at the suggestions from the Toronto media. “This is how I kind of look at it: I think they hired me to decide,” he said, clearly annoyed. “So that’s kind of how I approach it. …I’m just going to keep on keeping on.”
Fair enough… except that “keep on, keeping on” has resulted in three straight losses and a record of 4-3-3 in the team’s past 10 games. Babcock can stick to the plan all he wants, but it’s clear that the team has not been good the past three weeks. The Leafs’ last regulation win was way back on December 28th against the lowly Arizona Coyotes. Since then they’ve struggled to score with regularity and they’ve squandered several leads late in games. It’s time to make a change.
“We can move guys around if we feel it’s going to help us get better,” Babcock said. “I think when I look at our last couple games, I think we’re in a good situation…I guess I don’t feel like you guys [in the media] do, how’s that? Not one bit. But when I do, we’ll change some things.”
The Leafs are in Philly tonight to take on the Philadelphia Flyers and, surprise, surprise, no lineup changes are expected. This means that Nazem Kadri, with just one point in his last 17 games, will continue to man the center ice position on the 2nd line, Connor Brown will stay on the fourth line and rookie Travis Dermott will play alongside veteran Roman Polak.