The pressure is mounting on the Toronto Maple Leafs and head coach Mike Babcock. The Leafs are 5-4-2 in their first 11 games of the 2019-20 season and fans are getting restless.
Specifically, fans have turned their ire to Babcock and have been critical of his coaching strategies. He hasn’t evolved, he’s poor at managing ice-time and he’s too slow to adapt to changes within the game, they say. Others are calling for Babcock to be outright fired and replaced with AHL Toronto Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe.
As NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reports though, those fans might want to be careful what they wish for. Check out this little tidbit from Friedman’s most recent 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet:
As the pressure mounts, there will be plenty of talk about Babcock’s future. One thing everyone should remember: he takes a lot of the heat. A lot of it. What I respect about him is that he recognizes it as part of the job. Where does it go if he’s gone?
A fair point. But… isn’t that part of Brendan Shanahan’s job?