September 27 2016 09:43AM
Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS
Every year, a panel of voters scribbles on a ballot and decides, in their infinite wisdom, who the best coach in the National Hockey League was for the season that just concluded. The winner of those ballots picks up the Jack Adams Award, which basically guarantees them a job in pro hockey as long as they want one. Often, their choice creates a ton of debate, due to the recent history of picking whoever coached the team that made the biggest standings leap.
Now, the season hasn't started yet, and I don't think it matters to him all that much, but it's hard to imagine a scenario where the ballots spit out a winner other than Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock. Here's my reasoning:
September 26 2016 08:06PM
The Leafs kicked off their preseason in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A bunch of the team's top players were out due to their cameos at the World Cup of Hockey, Mike Babcock is still drawing up structured plays for superstars, and I assume Tyler Bozak and William Nylander had world-class donairs to attend to. All of this considered, the Leafs lineup was pretty bare.
Granted, so was the lineup of the Ottawa Senators, so that might not be a passable excuse for the 6-3 loss that we all watched tonight, but it did mean that Mitch Marner got to play top six minutes for the Leafs tonight, and oh boy, it was fun.
September 26 2016 06:18PM
Photo Credit: Kevin Sousa/USA TODAY SPORTS
The World Cup of Hockey still has two or three games left to go, but as far as the Toronto Maple Leafs' players are concerned, it's over. Mike Babcock remains, but the rest are waiting for tonight's game in Halifax to pass before joining their team in camp. We didn't see much of the goalies; Jhonas Enroth watched from the sidelines after getting shelled in his first exhibition game and Frederik Andersen went from Europe's projected starter to the IR. But we did get to see seven skaters play in preliminary, round robin, and in one case, knockout games; here's how they did.
September 26 2016 10:31AM
It's over! The offseason is finally over! Finally, we can stop over-analyzing every transaction Leafs management does or doesn't make and... start over-analyzing every puck decision the players make! Or something like that.
Anyway, the pre-season officially kicks off today in slightly unusual fashion, as the Battle of Ontario is taken to Nova Scotia. The Leafs will take on the Ottawa Senators in Halifax this evening; here's how it breaks down.
September 26 2016 09:38AM
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS
Tomorrow marks the beginning of a best-of-three series to decide which of Team Canada or Team Europe will take the 2016 Wolrd Cup of Hockey's trophy home to their country or continent. As it stands, the Canadians are the overwhelming favourites, having not lost a meaningful best-on-best game since the round robins of the 2010 Olympics and already having beaten Europe 4-1 earlier in this tournament.
Certainly, there's a natural instinct to cheer for the country that most of us call home. But wouldn't it be great if their opponents made it interesting, if not fully upset the host nation?