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Babcock slams entire line after devastating loss

Says they need to “take a step”. Called for or not?

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Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock isn’t one to mince words when he’s unhappy. And if you find yourself on the receiving end of a Babcock tirade, you’d better have a thick skin. Following the Leafs’ game 5 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals, Babcock specifically singled out his team’s line of James VanRiemsdyk, Tyler Bozak and Mitch Marner.

The trio played third line minutes and were surprisingly dominated by the Capitals trio of Andre Burakovsky, Lars Eller and Tom Wilson. While VanRiemsdyk did generate scoring chances and manage 5 shots on goal, both Bozak and Marner were invisible for much of the game, unable to generate a single shot on goal between the two of them.

Babcock seemed content with the play of his other three forward lines and was complimentary to his team’s defense and goaltending, so you know that Bozak and Marner are feeling the heat in Toronto. The bad news? The pressure only gets stronger from here on out with the Leafs facing elimination on Sunday evening.