|View single post by lobo316|
|Posted: Thu Dec 8th, 2016 06:14 pm||
|Mike Babcock - not a happy man.
Toronto's head coach watched his club drop a 3-2 decision to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night, leaving the Maple Leafs in the basement of the Eastern Conference - and behind the pace he set out for his young group.
Babcock's goal is 6 pts every 5 games; so far:
1-5 - 5
6-10 - 4
11-15 - 6
16-20 - 5
21-25 - 5
5 points behind desired pace
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) December 8, 2016
Babcock hates losing. It eats at him, and he called out William Nylander - one of his top young players, who began the night centering the fourth line - after the game.
"The reality is, for (Nylander) to play center in the NHL he's going to have to get way better defensively, way more competitive," Babcock said, according to TSN's Mark Masters.
Nylander was moved up with Toronto down a goal, as Babcock searched for offense.
"It's just a situation where we were behind and he's a guy who can shoot the puck in the net. Nikita (Soshnikov) did nothing wrong, Sosh plays hard," Babcock added.
After a scorching start to the season, Nylander's slowed down. He had 11 points in nine October games, but only two goals and three assists across 13 contests in November.
At 6-feet and 190 pounds, Nylander's not the biggest kid, but Babcock clearly wants more out of him.
"We've done lots of good things," Babcock said, "we just got to be better. I want to be better. We got to find a way to win every night."
Toronto outshot Minnesota 37-20, including a combined 27-12 in periods two and three, which may have frustrated Babcock even more.
"We pushed for lots of the game, but it's one thing to push when you're behind, you got to push all the time."