Author Topic: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock  (Read 4621 times)

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Offline Bullfrog

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #60 on: April 24, 2019, 10:35:42 AM »
I don't like that Babcock never seems to take any blame when discussing what went wrong.  From last night, he slyly mentioned:

"goals kept going in" -- slight shot at Andersen
"we couldn't move Willy around" - shot at Kadri

I mean, the Kadri argument is valid, however you've known he's not available since game 2, and you had plenty of time to try other things.  You totally *could* have moved Willy around, but you chose not to, don't blame Kadri for that.  How about giving Nylander better wingers for a start?  How about a period of Matthews-Nylander just to see how it goes?  Nope, can't do that cause we don't have Kadri!

Perhaps you're more sensitive than me (meaning you're picking up things I'm not), but I don't see either of those statements as shots, but rather a commentary on the situation they were in. Who becomes the third line centre if Nylander goes back up to wing? Marleau?

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #60 on: April 24, 2019, 10:35:42 AM »

Offline L K

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #61 on: April 24, 2019, 10:43:23 AM »
I don't like that Babcock never seems to take any blame when discussing what went wrong.  From last night, he slyly mentioned:

"goals kept going in" -- slight shot at Andersen
"we couldn't move Willy around" - shot at Kadri

I mean, the Kadri argument is valid, however you've known he's not available since game 2, and you had plenty of time to try other things.  You totally *could* have moved Willy around, but you chose not to, don't blame Kadri for that.  How about giving Nylander better wingers for a start?  How about a period of Matthews-Nylander just to see how it goes?  Nope, can't do that cause we don't have Kadri!

Perhaps you're more sensitive than me (meaning you're picking up things I'm not), but I don't see either of those statements as shots, but rather a commentary on the situation they were in. Who becomes the third line centre if Nylander goes back up to wing? Marleau?

I guess my contention would be Nylander....but.  Nylander to start and then when the game needs offense you double shift Matthews/Tavares a bit and get Nylander out on the wing.

Offline Chris

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #62 on: April 24, 2019, 10:50:51 AM »
There's a lot of things I don't like about Babcock, but he did get this team to play much better "playoff hockey" including team defense, for significant parts of this series. Overall the Leafs looked to be the better team to me, at 5v5 at least. The special teams did them in and I put almost all of the blame for that on the coaching staff. And Rask outplayed Andersen in game 7, what can you do...Andersen bailed the Leafs out so many times all season and even in this series but he's only human.

As for the third line, I don't know. Marleau was an anchor and I don't know how anyone could come away with a different opinion if they actually watched the games. He does one thing well - stand in front of the net and screen/tip pucks. But anytime he went into the corner he lost the puck battle. Any time the puck wound up on his stick he gave it away. WTF is Nylander supposed to do when his passing options are Marleau and Brown. It's really criminal that at least one of Moore or Ennis weren't tried on that line (or that Nylander wasn't shifted into Goats spot).

Offline herman

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #63 on: April 24, 2019, 11:03:20 AM »
Perhaps you're more sensitive than me (meaning you're picking up things I'm not), but I don't see either of those statements as shots, but rather a commentary on the situation they were in. Who becomes the third line centre if Nylander goes back up to wing? Marleau?

Yeah, those seemed like pretty obvious facts being stated, rather than pot shots.

I find Babcock to generally have a very good read on what's happening. Falls down on what he believes will solve it. Not ruthless enough with underperforming veterans.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 11:09:12 AM by herman »

Offline Zee

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #64 on: April 24, 2019, 11:04:43 AM »
I don't like that Babcock never seems to take any blame when discussing what went wrong.  From last night, he slyly mentioned:

"goals kept going in" -- slight shot at Andersen
"we couldn't move Willy around" - shot at Kadri

I mean, the Kadri argument is valid, however you've known he's not available since game 2, and you had plenty of time to try other things.  You totally *could* have moved Willy around, but you chose not to, don't blame Kadri for that.  How about giving Nylander better wingers for a start?  How about a period of Matthews-Nylander just to see how it goes?  Nope, can't do that cause we don't have Kadri!

Perhaps you're more sensitive than me (meaning you're picking up things I'm not), but I don't see either of those statements as shots, but rather a commentary on the situation they were in. Who becomes the third line centre if Nylander goes back up to wing? Marleau?

It was from Mirtle and Siegel in the post game questions with Babcock.  Both reporters mentioned he seemed more rattled than he ever has before in a post game conference and both suggested he was deflecting blame to others.

Offline Bender

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #65 on: April 24, 2019, 11:36:38 AM »
Perhaps you're more sensitive than me (meaning you're picking up things I'm not), but I don't see either of those statements as shots, but rather a commentary on the situation they were in. Who becomes the third line centre if Nylander goes back up to wing? Marleau?

Yeah, those seemed like pretty obvious facts being stated, rather than pot shots.

I find Babcock to generally have a very good read on what's happening. Falls down on what he believes will solve it. Not ruthless enough with underperforming veterans.

Definitely. I mean you just can't justify his deployment last night. You can't. However if Andersen isn't leaky then it's a 1-1 game. Obviously team D and special teams have been a problem all year but if he deployed his team optimally then he wouldn't be in a position where people are pointing fingers at him. They'd say he deployed the team the best he could and that's that. PK was a problem but I think he'd get more of a pass if the deployment made more sense, but it just doesn't.
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Offline cabber24

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #66 on: April 24, 2019, 11:46:50 AM »
Anyone feeling any differently now?

The knee-jerk reactions against Babcock are strong right now. That aside, I think it might be prudent to put Kefe in place and let him run the team.

- I do not like the way Babcock manages ice time
- I do not think he matches lines - or even mixes lines very well
- He does not appear to be dynamic enough with his game plan - it is as if he is saying "my plan is my plan and that is what we will stick with no matter what
- Sheldon Keefe is a good coach who will be picked up by another team if they do not promote him
- After the same result three years in a row (twice in a row to Boston) they have to do something
Do you remember is opening day lines?

3rd: Levio Kadri Brown
4th: Johnsson Goat Kapi

He's just out of touch.
Upon the wicked He will rain Jerseys; blue and white and burning waffles will be the portion of their cup.

Offline herman

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #67 on: April 24, 2019, 11:49:44 AM »
Perhaps you're more sensitive than me (meaning you're picking up things I'm not), but I don't see either of those statements as shots, but rather a commentary on the situation they were in. Who becomes the third line centre if Nylander goes back up to wing? Marleau?

Yeah, those seemed like pretty obvious facts being stated, rather than pot shots.

I find Babcock to generally have a very good read on what's happening. Falls down on what he believes will solve it. Not ruthless enough with underperforming veterans.

Definitely. I mean you just can't justify his deployment last night. You can't. However if Andersen isn't leaky then it's a 1-1 game. Obviously team D and special teams have been a problem all year but if he deployed his team optimally then he wouldn't be in a position where people are pointing fingers at him. They'd say he deployed the team the best he could and that's that. PK was a problem but I think he'd get more of a pass if the deployment made more sense, but it just doesn't.

And some of that deployment inflexibility extends into the regular season. You have to know what arrows are in the quiver. You have to build up a comfort level with the tools at hand for the times when you might need them. If you preach that every game is a process of learning to do it better each time and building up experience and scars, some of these bench players are going to need actual game time too so that the team as a whole can be better together.

Offline lc9

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #68 on: April 24, 2019, 12:04:13 PM »
I watched last night and saw a lot of good things until slightly bad things happened and Andersen finally faltered. Zero additional/effective press from the coaching staff to push the roster's limits and concentrate its attack is going to be the storyline dragging into the off season. It's baffling, but was it really surprising? The coaching staff believed in a certain style of play and certain players to steer that style and stuck to their guns. I slightly blame Nylander for making Marleau look effective for enough of an early game to convince Babcock to ride or die with the iron man (nevermind that he was surrounded by play drivers in Nylander, 40%Gardiner, 85%Dermott).

I like Carlton's idea to try out different assistants. I don't know if it's a good time for Dubas to use the Keefe silver bullet yet as he really only just got his hands on the team, but there is an old boys club vibe from how people have written about the coaching staff and a disconnect with Dubas' management team. Like Zee said, put him on notice.

I generally like the way Babcock deals with media and his players (and their psychological growth) and like 90% of his tactical choices, so I'd be hard pressed to come up with a better option. If Dubas can make it work with Babcock (they have a lot of alignment philosophically), this team is still going places.

I know you will defend Babcock at any length, but his refusal to change anything wonít change. He is who he is.  The leafs arenít developing the way the should be.  How can you justify playing Matthews 18 mins last night?  He treats the playoffs like game 24 of the season. How can this be defended?

Offline lc9

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #69 on: April 24, 2019, 12:09:01 PM »
Perhaps you're more sensitive than me (meaning you're picking up things I'm not), but I don't see either of those statements as shots, but rather a commentary on the situation they were in. Who becomes the third line centre if Nylander goes back up to wing? Marleau?

Yeah, those seemed like pretty obvious facts being stated, rather than pot shots.

I find Babcock to generally have a very good read on what's happening. Falls down on what he believes will solve it. Not ruthless enough with underperforming veterans.

Definitely. I mean you just can't justify his deployment last night. You can't. However if Andersen isn't leaky then it's a 1-1 game. Obviously team D and special teams have been a problem all year but if he deployed his team optimally then he wouldn't be in a position where people are pointing fingers at him. They'd say he deployed the team the best he could and that's that. PK was a problem but I think he'd get more of a pass if the deployment made more sense, but it just doesn't.

And some of that deployment inflexibility extends into the regular season. You have to know what arrows are in the quiver. You have to build up a comfort level with the tools at hand for the times when you might need them. If you preach that every game is a process of learning to do it better each time and building up experience and scars, some of these bench players are going to need actual game time too so that the team as a whole can be better together.

And where has that gotten us?  3 straight first round exits.  Seems like youíre suggesting you canít try new things in the playoffs because you didnít try them in the regular season, so itís just better to stick with the status quo and lose. 

Offline Bill_Berg

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #70 on: April 24, 2019, 12:28:41 PM »
Maybe Buffalo hired him after all.

Offline herman

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #71 on: April 24, 2019, 01:23:49 PM »
I know you will defend Babcock at any length, but his refusal to change anything wonít change. He is who he is.  The leafs arenít developing the way the should be.  How can you justify playing Matthews 18 mins last night?  He treats the playoffs like game 24 of the season. How can this be defended?

This is kind of funny. Maybe you missed all the criticism I had for him the past three years about not cycling his depth players enough during the year to make sure he had options available in case of injury and tactical changes.

Babock's issue isn't that he isn't flexible and won't make in game adjustment, as he most certainly does adjust to game situations. The issue is that he makes adjustments that we don't like because he leans on the players he's comfortable with (that we and usually the stats don't like). Perhaps a couple of high profile instances of him sticking with his guns and still getting knocked out prompts a re-evaluation.

Seems like youíre suggesting you canít try new things in the playoffs because you didnít try them in the regular season, so itís just better to stick with the status quo and lose. 

What I'm saying is if comfort-level is a problem, the solution is to purposefully learn to get comfortable when the stakes are not as high so that you have options in a pinch.

All this haranguing masks all the good that he has actually accomplished with this team. There were moments throughout the season when the Leafs were unstoppable and unflappable. They know they're capable of it, so now the extra hard work comes in making it their new baseline.

Offline Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #72 on: April 24, 2019, 01:38:40 PM »
If Babcock needs to be ruthless with underperforming vets, then Dubas needs to be ruthless too.  If they don't get out of the first round next year, he'll be an underperforming coach and I'll be on the fire Babcock bandwagon, and Dubas should be driving it. 

As I said in the GDT I feel that the marker of success this year was getting out of the first round.  Waiting another year for that is tough. 

And, while I am emphatically NOT suggesting that we trade Nylander, should it be advantageous in the future Dubas has to be willing to pull the trigger, promises or not.  GMs have to be willing to do whatever they think is best for the team.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 01:40:17 PM by Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate »

Offline cabber24

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #73 on: April 24, 2019, 01:58:15 PM »
Here's my prediction for the playoffs:

Starting Lineup

Marleau Matthew Kappi
Hyman Tavares Marner
Brown Kadri Nylander
Johnsson and who cares, ain't playing

Roll three lines, Brown and Hyman lead all forwards in ice time, lose 2 of 3 games.

Lines "reshuffled" back to the beginning of time lines.

Marleau Matthews Nylander
Hyman Tavares Marner
Brown Kadri Kappi
Johnsson who cares, ain't playing

Win one, lose one. Still rolling 3 evenly.

Lines shuffled again (to late bud)

Kappi Matthews Nylander
Hyman Tavares Marner
Johnsson Kadri Maleau
Brown Who cares, ain't playing

Play the first two lines a lot win one and lose one, series lost. Bab's defaults to his best lineup too late because he's an idiot.
He was worse than my prediction. He made no tweaks what so ever and did not play his best more. Nothing changes, not under his leadership.
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Offline Bender

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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #74 on: April 24, 2019, 01:59:20 PM »
Here's my prediction for the playoffs:

Starting Lineup

Marleau Matthew Kappi
Hyman Tavares Marner
Brown Kadri Nylander
Johnsson and who cares, ain't playing

Roll three lines, Brown and Hyman lead all forwards in ice time, lose 2 of 3 games.

Lines "reshuffled" back to the beginning of time lines.

Marleau Matthews Nylander
Hyman Tavares Marner
Brown Kadri Kappi
Johnsson who cares, ain't playing

Win one, lose one. Still rolling 3 evenly.

Lines shuffled again (to late bud)

Kappi Matthews Nylander
Hyman Tavares Marner
Johnsson Kadri Maleau
Brown Who cares, ain't playing

Play the first two lines a lot win one and lose one, series lost. Bab's defaults to his best lineup too late because he's an idiot.
He was worse than my prediction. He made no tweaks what's so ever and did not play his best more. Nothing changes, not under his leadership.

To be fair Kadri was worse than your prediction too.
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Re: Playing The "What If" Game Re: Mike Babcock
« Reply #74 on: April 24, 2019, 01:59:20 PM »