The Leafs’ top players may not play together for long.
And if they do, there’s a new-look coaching staff that could be in place sooner rather than later.
“I think the new coaching staff is a great place to be for a lot of reasons,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday after the team’s morning skate.
And we’re very, very excited to get to a place where they’re all playing the same roles.” “
But I think the first thing is I think we’re going to have a new, fresh, younger group of guys that we’re excited to play with.
And we’re very, very excited to get to a place where they’re all playing the same roles.”
Babcock’s team is a much-improved one.
It’s not as deep as the one that lost Connor Brown to the Carolina Hurricanes, but it’s got the players to make it a competitive team.
Babcock was asked if he could envision playing alongside Brown in his role in Toronto.
“Yes,” he said, “because Connor has a great attitude, great leadership qualities, and I think he’s going to come in here and help us win.”
Babcke said that the Leafs are still building a chemistry with some of their young players.
“We’re going through a lot together,” he noted.
“Our chemistry is really good.
We’ve got a lot more room to grow together than we did before, and it’s just going to take time for everyone to grow and really figure out who we are as a team.”
Babcyck said that he hopes to get the rookies to play a lot in their own end as they get acclimated to the NHL.
“You’ve got to have chemistry with your rookies,” he added.
“They’ve got two years of hockey.
They’ve got time.
So we have to work on our communication, our teamwork, our communication with the kids, our understanding of how the game is played.
I’m excited about how it’s going and the growth of this group.”
Babczk said that his team is playing better and playing better together, and that’s the way he likes to see it.
“That’s really the way it should be,” Babczk said.
“It’s not about being competitive with everyone else.
I think everybody on the team knows that.
I don’t know if you can go out there and do it, but if you’re playing well, you’re going out there playing well.”
The Leafs are in a good spot in the standings heading into the final six games of the season.
The team’s goal differential has climbed to 1.75 points per game and it is only the second time in team history that the club has a positive goal differential in back-to-back games.
The Leafs were at .841 in December and the final eight games of last season.
Babcceck said the Leafs could have a chance to make the playoffs if they can improve on last year’s record of 12-17-4.
“At the end of the day, we have a long way to go, but we’re a long ways from where we want to be,” he told reporters.
“If we can keep this going, then maybe we’ll get to the playoffs.”
With files from the Associated Press and the Canadian Press Sports Editors