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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

Penguins Sign Oula Palve

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed European center Oula Plave to a one-year, entry level contract, according to an official team announcement on Monday.

Palve’s new deal is for the league minimum $700K and includes a $92.5K signing bonuses. There are also games-played incentives that could total $132.5K.

Palve is coming off a solid season withTPS Turku in the Finnish sm-Liiga , leading the team with 16 goals and 35 assists in 53 games.

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Eastern Conference

Caps’ T.J. Oshie Likely Out For The Playoffs

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The Washington Capitals will be without winger T.J. Oshie for whjat appears to be the entire postseason, according to Isabelle Khurshudyan and Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post.

Oshie’s injury is being termed as an upper-body issue by the team, but Oshie was seen in a sling following a hit from Carolina Hurricanes winger Warren Foegele.

Despite the hit, the Department of Player Safety opted not to hand anything down in terms of discipline on Foegele.

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Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Hire Steve Yzerman

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The Detroit Red Wings have hired franchise icon and former Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman to take over the post as their general manager.

Current general manager, Ken Holland, will move to a position called Senior Vice President and has inked a multi-year contract extension to remain with the club, according to TSN’s Gord Miller.

Yzerman stepped down from his role as GM of the Lightning in September but he is largely responsible for building the roster that led Tampa Bay to a President’s Cup this season, matching the NHL record for wins in a single season, posting a 62-16-4 record this past season.

Yzerman could be bringing some members of the Lightning front office to Detroit with him, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

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