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The Babcock situation must have been a lot worse than we thought

“Source: ~90% of the Leafs were relieved to see Mike Babcock go” is what James Mirtle of The Athletic tweeted out on Thursday morning before the Leafs got ready for their first game under new coach Sheldon Keefe. If that doesn’t tell you that things were much worse under the hood of this team than…

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So, how long are these assistant coaches going to last?

The Leafs (in this case meaning Shanahan and Dubas) sort of wanted to fire Mike Babcock last spring when the Bruins put them away in game seven. They didn’t, and instead did the most common next thing: replacing the assistants around him. But it’s hard to parse out who pulled the strings most in this…

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Only Shanahan can fire Babcock, and maybe that’s okay

If the Leafs continue to sputter over the next month or so (they’re currently 12th in the conference standings by points-percentage), Mike Babcock is going to be fired. Before Christmas, after, it doesn’t really matter; If this Toronto team just claws along with two wins here, two losses there, Babcock is going to be replaced by…

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Embracing the ambiguity in hockey analysis

Person 1: “Cody Ceci is bad. He shouldn’t even be in the NHL.” Person 2: “I don’t know. I mean, maybe you’re right. He has been on some really poor Sens teams though.” Person 1: “Nope, he’s terrible. The numbers say he’s always been getting crushed in shot-attempt share, and he’s 26 now. He is…

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We don’t need to write off Liljegren to write in Sandin

In case you haven’t heard, Rasmus Sandin is a Toronto Maple Leaf. In what became easily the biggest story of camp these last two weeks and stretching back over the last year, the 2018 first-rounder shot up the organization like a rocket to nab a NHL roster spot and will make his debut a couple…

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The many potential looks of the Leafs’ top powerplay unit

The Leafs are going to do a few things differently this season, so you can go ahead and make peace with that. The roster has had its fair share of turnover, but tactically we can expect to see some new things as well. Out are assistant coaches DJ Smith and Jim Hiller, in are Paul…