According to a fascinatingly in-depth report from TSN’s Travis Yost, Babcock’s philosophy is impacting Toronto and the numbers don’t lie.
Yost pointed to the difficult task that laid ahead for Babcock, who was taking over for Randy Carlyle and his excessive shift times on to his star players.
Yost also demonstrated the average shift length per season for the Leafs, over the past three seasons:
As the infographic clearly shows, most players are in the high 30s or low 40s and Babcock has continuously worked to bring that down.
Babcock believes that players on quick, short shifts can play a more effective two-way game over longer periods of time during a given game but the coach must find a balance to ensure the success of this implementation.
The balance between playing his best players too much and resisting the call to play them on extended shifts will be key.
But Babcock’s impact is certainly measurable and for that, the coach deserves kudos for a job well done.
And so does Yost for his incredible analysis.