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Eastern Conference

Leafs Adapting Coach Mike Babcock’s 40-second Shift Mentality

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock is no stranger to the 40-second shift, a system he employed during his tenure with the Detroit Red Wings.

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’s impact cannot be ignored and this infogaphic shows that Toronto had the second-lowest shift length in the NHL last season, slightly ahead of the league leading St. Louis Blues.

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.

 

 

Eastern Conference

Lightning Shopping Slater Koekkoek

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping defenseman, and former first round pick, Slater Koekkoek, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Tampa Bay is now motivated to trade away their once prized prospect, who is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint.

Koekkoek is waiver eligible and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2019.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky Will Not Dress Due To Team Incident

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that veteran goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not dress for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to what is being described as an “incident”.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated the following:

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

In corresponding moves, the Blue Jackets has recalled Jean-Francois Berube, and placed both Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Hannikainen on injured reserve.

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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Frederik Andersen Targeting Saturday Return

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Frederik Andersen said that he is eyeing the team’s upcoming game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday to make his return to the ice.

Andersen was placed on injured reserve on January 3rd, retroactive to December 23rd, and hasn’t played since December 22nd.

Despite his goal of a Saturday return, Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock is looking towards Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche as the best time for his return.

Babcock pours a little cold water on Andersen’s reveal, saying it might be Monday vs. Colorado. Hmmm…— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) January 9, 2019

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