https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/l ... 0437844586
Good podcast with Rachel Doerrie, who has done some video work for the Leafs at their Development Camp. Try as they might to get a “Keefe >>> Babs AINEC” angle, Doerrie points out several things that go against the grain of the common narrative promulgated here and on various Leaf related sites.
First, Babs and Keefe are chums. So the idea that Babs’ huge ego wouldn’t allow him to work with Keefe as an assistant is probably bullshit. And why wouldn’t they be chums, I ask? Keefe gets to learn from one of the best coaches in the game while Babs gets to pick the brain of an up and coming coach and make his game better. Keefe gets to run Babs’ systems in the AHL and tweak and toy about without the pressure of doing it in the show. Babs might get to add a guy to his staff who can help him get this team to another level which, last I looked, is good for him. I’m amazed at the zero sum perspective that people have on the relationships in the organisation, including Babs v Dubas, Keefe v Babs, etc. It reads more like an attempt to make heat for discussion than an objective view of the way the guys act and speak about themselves.
Second, while she first says that the two teams don’t run the same system, she goes back on herself and says that they do, but that the decision-making of individual players within the system is different. The differences come down to personnel
. Again, that’s down to management and development. It’s one thing for Keefe to be able to tell a guy with Sandin’s or Lilly’s skill to hold the puck and make a play in his own zone against an AHL forechecker and, if he gives it away, tell him he better learn not to. It’s another for Babs to be presented with options like Polak, Hainsey, Zaitsev, Marancin, etc. and ask them to do that against NHL opposition when even an NHL fourth liner will bury a chance created from a bad giveaway (see Game 7 vs the Bruins). Keefe has had the luxury of having high end AHL/NHL-bound skill on his D for a couple of seasons now. Rosen, Dermott, Borgman, Sandin, Lily, Holl, etc.
Until such time as we have the NHL-ready depth to play that possession game at the back (and we saw some of it in e.g. Game 5 against BOS) the coaching staff have to do things another way. So when Babs talks about depth and finding players (and the mob say he’s blaming the players or hanging Dubas out to dry blah blah) that’s what he’s talking about. This team will look - as I’ve said all season - very different once the big guns up front mature a little and when we’ve got the kind of New NHL D we need to get them the puck in a hurry - I.e. when you’re running a D corps with Rielly, Lily, Sandin, Dermott & Muzzin on it. That’s a very, very different squad and one you’d expect to be able to make high skill breakout plays under pressure in their own end, likely alleviating some of the in-zone problems with our D. When Z is getting 5/6 minutes and doing PK duty, things will look much different.
Assistants could change and that may or my not involve Keefe. I’ve heard from several sources that Hiller has been granted permission to talk to other clubs and there’s speculation that Smith could be gone too. That would change the D as well because Smith is thought to be a more conservative chip-it-out kind of coach.
She thinks Brown could be in EDM next year and that the problem with Brown isn’t that he suxors, but that he’s playing too fa4 down the depth chart. He seems to thrive being a garbage collector and glue guy with more skilled players. He’s not a pure grinder and our third line never really found an identity and a flow this year.
She thinks that Marleau will be back and that they like him because of his professionalism and his attitude. I think he’s obviously overpaid for third line production, but with one year left and an NMC there’s not a tonne you can do without treating a quality person like shit and going against the entire organisational ethos of doing things right and building good people.