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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.

 

 

Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings’ Anthony Mantha Out Four To Six Weeks

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The Detroit Red Wings will be without bright spot forward Anthony Mantha, who has developed impressively this season, will miss four to six weeks with a hand injury and will undergo surgery today, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.

Mantha injured his hand while fighting with Patrik Nemeth of the Colorado Avalanche, a game that resulted in the two-game suspension of Tyler Bertuzzi.

Mantha has picked up 14 points in 27 games this season.

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Eastern Conference

Flyers Hire Chuck Fletcher as General Manager

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The Philadelphia Flyers have announced the hiring of Chuck Fletcher as the team’s new general manager, according to a team announcement on Monday.

Fletcher, who becomes the eighth man to serve as GM in franchise history, will take over for Ron Hextall who was fired back in November.

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Eastern Conference

Devils’ Steven Santini Sent To AHL On Conditioning Loan

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The New Jersey Devils have sent defenseman Steven Santini to the AHL on a conditioning loan as the 23-year old works his way back from a broken jaw, according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti.

Santini has played in only one game for New Jersey this season, struggling to catch on as a full-time player for the Devils, and has only played in 76 NHL games during his short career after the Devils selected him with the 42d pick in the 2013 NHL draft.

 

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