stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space


Search

space
  This site         Tips

  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology

space
Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

   Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...

space

Services
   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    

PRINT EDITION
A brief break from Babcock for Leafs players
space
space
By DAVID SHOALTS
  
  

Email this article Print this article
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 – Page B13

There is no control freak like the head coach of any major sports team, "amateur" or professional.

That is why there is always great hilarity when the first statement from any U.S. college coach whose program is caught in any nefarious undertaking, such as slipping cash to officially unpaid athletes, is: "I had no idea anything untoward was happening."

At least Mike Babcock admits he suffers from the affliction. Control, that is. Slipping the players wads of cash - perfectly legal and absolutely required in the NHL's case - is the job of general manager Lou Lamoriello. The Toronto Maple Leafs head coach volunteered the information after Tuesday's practice when the subject of the team's five-day break came up.

Thanks to the NHL Players' Association, which landed the perk in the bargaining for the current collective agreement, every NHL team gets a five-day break during the 82-game season, separate from the all-star break. The Olympic break, at least for now, is out of the picture.

Once the Leafs are finished playing the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night, they are free from Babcock's scrutiny until 4 p.m. next Monday, the earliest time the coach can schedule a practice to prepare for Tuesday's game against the St. Louis Blues. The Sens also embark on a five-day hiatus after the game, although any number of wiseacres would say they have been on hiatus all season.

The standard answer from the players about their plans was flying somewhere warm as soon as possible after taking care of the Senators. Thanks to today's salaries, that could involve a limo from the dressing-room door to a private jet to maximize time in the sun.

Naturally, Babcock was asked what he would prefer his charges do with their time off. That's when he admitted he does not have much say, although he did get his fingerprints on their mini-vacations, in part.

"The first message we try to do is make sure everyone has their trip organized today [Tuesday]," Babcock said, "so that when the game is on tomorrow, you're focused on getting the points. We need the points.

"The second thing is, as a young coach, I would have wanted them to take their skates to the Bahamas, find some ice and skate. You and I both know that's not happening. You pick the battles you can."

None of the players mentioned a search for a rink among the tiki bars and beaches. A more popular topic was gaining some down time from the hectic cycle of practices and 82 NHL games.

"Of course," Leafs centre Nazem Kadri said when asked if he welcomed the pause, looking at his questioner as if he had just asked if Kadri liked beach volleyball. "Breaks are breaks."

So what do you plan to do? "Hopefully go away, enjoy some positive energy and end on a positive note," Kadri said. "Hopefully win [on Wednesday night] and catch some sun, because there hasn't been too much here in Toronto. You can really feel energized when your season comes back."

Babcock, of course, is not as convinced his players will be energized when they return from three or four days of lounging on the beach. Teams that get just two days off during the season, with one of them spent practising, can look rusty the next time out. So the players are being sent off with a list of instructions from the medical and training staff.

"We have a good sports science team, they have good information on how [the players] can help themselves and we go from there," Babcock said. "Any time you take time off, getting the motor running and get skating again is not as easy as you might think.

"The good thing about it is the teams you're playing coming off that break are teams that were doing the same thing you were."

While that is not true in every case, the league does try to match up teams coming off the break with others in the same situation. The Blues were off the clock after Tuesday's game against the Florida Panthers, which gives them one more day of rest than the Leafs.

In the meantime, the Senators may be having a horrendous season after making the Eastern Conference final last spring, but they have yet to find any trouble with the Leafs. In their only meeting this season, the Sens dispatched the Leafs 6-3 back in October.

"It's a team that's given us a lot of trouble," Leafs centre Auston Matthews said. "They beat you going to the open area and they just kind of close in on you."

Getting careless, as the Leafs did in blowing Monday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the last four minutes of the third period, will be deadly, given the Senators' excellent transition game in their own end.

"We have to be careful turning pucks over," Matthews said. "They've got a lot of speed, a lot of skill and they jump in the rush as well. It's going to be a big thing for us in taking care of the puck."


Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Stephen_Brunt Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail
 

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement
space

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.

Advertisement

7-Day Site Search
    

Breaking News



Today's Weather


Inside

Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes


Editorial
Where Manley is going with his first budget




space

Columnists



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.

 National


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
space
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
space
Margaret Wente arrow
Counterpoint
space
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game
space
 Business


Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
space
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
space
Mathew Ingram arrow
space
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
space
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
space
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
space
Andrew Willis arrow
Streetwise
space
 Sports


Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
space
Eric Duhatschek arrow
space
Allan Maki arrow
space
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
space
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
Golf
space
 The Arts


John Doyle arrow
Television
space
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
space
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
space
Johanna Schneller arrow
Moviegoer
space
 Comment


Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
space
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
space
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
space
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
space
Paul Knox arrow
Worldbeat
space
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
space
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
space
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
space
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
space
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
space
William Thorsell arrow
space





Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page