Mike Babcock and Ralph Krueger's relationship goes back to 2004 and countless conversations since about coaching in the NHL.
The Toronto Maple Leafs coach just wishes Krueger hadn't join ed...
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Mike Babcock sensed his slumping Toronto Maple Leafs were showing signs of turning the corner.
Auston Matthews and John Tavares delivered on their coach's...
Kadri, Kapanen score 22 seconds apart as Leafs beat Avs 5-2
DENVER (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs had one powerful surge against Colorado, and it came from their re-energized power play.
Nazem Kadri and Kasperi Kapanen scored power-play goals 22 seconds apart in the second period, Frederik Andersen stopped 34 shots and the Maple Leafs beat Colorado 5-2 on Tuesday night, extending the Avalanche's winless streak to eight games.
Kapanen and Kadri each finished with two goals, while Auston Matthews added a goal and two assists.
Rinne notches 3rd shutout of season, Predators top Leafs 4-0
TORONTO (AP) — Toronto coach Mike Babcock said the Maple Leafs got schooled by Nashville.
Pekka Rinne made 18 saves for his third shutout of the season and the 54th of his career as the Predators defeated the Maple Leafs 4-0 Monday night.
Mattias Ekholm, Kevin Fiala and Colton Sissons each had goal and an assist for Nashville, and P.K. Subban also scored.
"We got a lesson from a veteran team," Babcock said. "In the third period in particular ... they just stayed patient.
Matthews, Tavares help Maple Leafs rout Panthers 6-1
TORONTO (AP) — Roberto Luongo joked on Twitter after Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner made celebrity cameo appearances in a production of "The Nutcracker" that Toronto's dynamic duo deserved the night off.
No such luck for the goalie and his Florida teammates.
Matthews had two goals and two assists, and John Tavares also scored twice to help the Maple Leafs rout the Panthers 6-1 on Thursday night.
Maple Leafs among NHL teams facing cap crunches next year
There are questions Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock won't touch with a 10-foot hockey stick.
The challenge a team brimming with young talent faces in managing its payroll structure was one topic Babcock particularly enjoyed sidestepping shortly after Toronto and forward William Nylander ended a lengthy contract dispute this month.
"Well, I think you've got to talk to a manager about that," said Babcock, referring to general manager Kyle Dubas." I just coach the players."
Dylan Larkin scores in OT, Red Wings edge Maple Leafs 5-4
TORONTO (AP) — Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock expected William Nylander to be "the freshest guy in hockey" on Thursday night.
That was probably asking too much of a player making his season debut with exactly zero practice time since ending a prolonged contract impasse with Toronto just last weekend.
The rest of Babcock's team, which eventually showed signs life after a poor opening 40 minutes, didn't really have an excuse.
Nazem Kadri scores winner, Maple Leafs beat Wild, 5-3
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs keep winning, and they're adding another offensive player to the lineup.
Nazem Kadri broke a tie with 3:20 to play and Zach Hyman scored twice in Toronto's 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
Hyman added an empty-net goal in the final minute to seal Toronto's fourth straight victory and Minnesota's third loss in a row. The Maple Leafs improved to 19-8-0, a point behind Tampa Bay for the NHL lead.
Reilly’s OT goal lifts Maple Leafs over Ducks 2-1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The California road swing has traditionally posed problems for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That wasn't the case this season.
Morgan Reilly scored with 1:43 remaining in overtime to lift the Maple Leafs over the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on Friday night for a three-game sweep through the Golden State.
Andersen makes 36 saves to lift Leafs over Golden Knights
TORONTO (AP) — There have been times this season when the Maple Leafs felt they deserved a better fate on home ice.
That wasn't the case Tuesday night.
Frederik Andersen made 36 saves to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1.
The visitors had 82 shot attempts compared to the Leafs' 40, including a 40-13 edge in a second period where Toronto barely touched the puck.
Anton Khudobin makes 31 saves, Stars beat Maple Leafs 2-1
TORONTO (AP) — Dallas backup goalie Anton Khudobin stopped the high-scoring Toronto Maple Leafs.
Khudobin made 31 saves to help the Stars beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 on Thursday night.
"He's such a great teammate," Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said. "He brings energy every day. He puts a smile on everyone's face. With (Bishop) playing so well it's been hard to get him in as many games as we'd like. "But it's great for his confidence, great for the team morale how good he played."
O’Reilly, Allen lead Blues past Maple Leafs 4-1
TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs scored in bunches through seven games. The St. Louis Blues showed that goals don't always come that easily.
Ryan O'Reilly scored his first goal with St. Louis, and Jake Allen made 22 saves as the Blues beat the Maple Leafs 4-1 on Saturday night.
Robert Bortuzzo, Zach Sanford and Ivan Barbashev also scored, and David Perron added two assists for St. Louis, which picked up its second victory in seven games this season.
Who’s hockey’s best? McDavid, Matthews, Crosby stir debate
TORONTO (AP) — Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews? Auston Matthews or Connor McDavid?
With debate ramping up about which player sits atop hockey's throne — after some remarkable early performances — Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock's goes in a different direction — Sidney Crosby.
"This is what I think," Babcock began as he made his case for the Penguins captain before Pittsburgh's 3-0 victory over Toronto on Thursday. "I think one guy's got two Olympic gold medals and three Stanley Cups."
Matthews extends goal streak, Maple Leafs beat Capitals 4-2
WASHINGTON (AP) — Auston Matthews' scoring has helped carry the Toronto Maple Leafs early this season.
The Leafs' defense and depth were the difference Saturday against Washington.
Fourth-liner Josh Leivo scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, Frederick Andersen made 25 saves and the Maple Leafs beat the Capitals 4-2.
Moments after Andersen made several solid saves to preserve the lead, Matthews scored an insurance goal with 1:39 to play, his NHL-leading 10th of the season.
Matthews scores 2 and helps Maple Leafs beat Red Wings 5-3
DETROIT (AP) — Auston Matthews heard the short list of NHL greats he joined by scoring nine times in the first five games of the season.
Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, Mario Lemieux and Mike Bossy are the only other players in league history to pull off the feat.
"Nice," Matthews said after scoring twice for a league-leading nine goals to help Toronto beat Detroit 5-3 Thursday night.
Matthews is the third player in franchise history to score in the first five games of a season.
Net loss: Maple Leafs lose 2 goalies; Capitals claim Jaskin
Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock was very much the diplomat after goalies Curtis McElhinney and Calvin Pickard were claimed off waivers Tuesday.
"Good for Mac. Good for Pick," Babcock said. "Too bad for our depth."
McElhinney was claimed by the Carolina Hurricanes, whose projected starter Scott Darling is injured and set to miss a few weeks. McElhinney has a 62-71-13 record in 10 seasons among six teams.
Nylander, Matthews lead Maple Leafs to 7-4 win over Ducks
TORONTO (AP) — Maybe the Toronto Maple Leafs avoided a serious injury to starting goalie Frederik Andersen.
William Nylander scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and Toronto defeated the Anaheim Ducks 7-4 on Monday night.
Detroit — Coming out of the All-Star break, with his team 2-5-1 over the previous three weeks, Jeff Blashill said the Red Wings could make a run.
The Wings had managed one winning streak longer than two games all season.
In his third season as coach, with his team tacking away from the playoffs for a second straight campaign, Blashill hoped to change course from the decline that began before Mike Babcock chose to coach the Maple Leafs.
Regardless of the trends, Blashill hoped to spark improvement.
McElhinney has 39 saves, Kadri 2 goals as Leafs beat Stars
DALLAS (AP) — It was just another game for Curtis McElhinney on Thursday night, even though he hadn't played in more than a month.
McElhinney made 39 saves, helping the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Dallas Stars 4-1.
He had lost in his last two appearances in December, but kept himself ready.
"Just keeping good habits in practice, trying to stay focused," he said. "The last couple games for me were tough personally, so this is a good way to bounce back."
Hockey royalty pays tribute to Johnny Bower
TORONTO (AP) — Fans and a Who's Who of hockey remembered Johnny Bower as a great goaltender and a better man.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Hall of Famers Yvan Cournoyer, Red Kelly, Frank Mahovlich, Darryl Sittler and Doug Gilmour were just some of the hockey elite on hand Wednesday for what was billed as a celebration of the legendary goalie who died Dec. 26 at the age of 93 after a bout of pneumonia.
Detroit — The fact the Red Wings haven't won in five games is tough enough.
But the fact captain Henrik Zetterberg hasn't scored a goal in much longer than that — 18 consecutive games — is even more bitter for Zetterberg, because he feels he isn't doing enough to help the Red Wings break into the win column.
"It does," Zetterberg said after Tuesday's loss to Los Angeles. "Obviously it's not fun when you don't score, so I take a big responsibility in that."
Alex Ovechkin has hat trick, Capitals beat Maple Leafs 4-2
TORONTO (AP) — Alex Ovechkin was at his high-scoring best — again.
"Sometimes you are just feeling it," the Russian forward said.
Ovechkin had a hat trick to help the Washington Capitals beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 on Saturday night.
Ovechkin scored two of his three goals in the opening period. Jakub Vrana also scored, and Braden Holtby made 27 saves for his 13th victory of the season.
Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev replied in the third period for Toronto. Curtis McElhinney stopped 17 shots.
Nylander scores late in OT, Maple Leafs beat Devils 1-0
TORONTO (AP) — Toronto coach Mike Babcock had a simple message for William Nylander after he ended a goal slump with the winner.
Nylander struck with 2.2 seconds to play in overtime and Frederik Andersen made 42 saves to help the Maple Leafs beat the New Jersey Devils 1-0 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.
"I told him to go thank Freddie because he's never scored," Babcock said. "(Nylander) needed to score a goal, right? He hasn't scored in a while."
Leafs star Auston Matthews to miss 4th game with injury
TORONTO (AP) — Injured Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss his fourth straight game when Toronto hosts the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Leafs coach Mike Babcock confirmed at practice that Matthews will sit out the game as he continues to deal with an upper-body injury.
There was speculation Matthews, who has 10 goals and nine assists in 16 games, might face the Devils after he returned to practice Wednesday.
Auston Matthews practices, might return against Devils
TORONTO (AP) — Toronto forward Auston Matthews practiced Wednesday for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury eight days ago, and could be back in the lineup when the Maple Leafs host the New Jersey Devils.
Coach Mike Babcock said it would be a game-day decision Thursday night.
Clare Drake, hockey’s ‘John Wooden,’ goes into Hall of Fame
Each time Ken Hitchcock attended a coaches clinic for over two decades, Clare Drake was there, front and center.
Drake was a six-time national championship winner in Canadian college hockey, so he'd often draw a big audience for his presentations. But he'd also sit in and listen to others.
Patrick Marleau scores in OT, Maple Leafs beat Bruins 3-2
TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock thought he'd be heading to Boston with nothing to show for the first meeting of a home-and-home series with the Bruins.
Things turned quickly Friday night, with the Maple Leafs tying it with a minute left in regulation and Patrick Marleau scoring 1:07 into overtime for a 3-2 victory.
"It looked like we'd get nothing and then suddenly we got two (points) so that's positive," Babcock said.
Frederik Andersen makes 35 saves, Maple Leafs beat Wild 4-2
TORONTO (AP) — Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau pointed to Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen.
"He won them the game," Boudreau said.
Anderson made 35 saves to help the Maple Leafs beat the Wild 4-2 on Wednesday night.
Nazem Kadri, Patrick Marleau, Connor Carrick and Connor Brown scored for Toronto. Playing with star center Auston Matthews out day to day with an upper-body injury, Toronto improved to 10-7-0.
Leafs’ Matthews to miss game vs Wild with upper-body injury
TORONTO (AP) — The Maple Leafs will be without star center Auston Matthews when they host the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.
Leafs coach Mike Babcock confirmed that Matthews is day to day with what the team calls a lingering "upper-body injury."
Matthews will miss a game for the first time in his career.
Andersen makes 36 saves as Maple Leafs top Kings 3-2
TORONTO (AP) — Matt Martin thinks his offensive statistics might be helped by his new linemate.
Mitch Marner played on Toronto's fourth line for the third straight game and set up goals by Martin and Tyler Bozak, and the Maple Leafs handed the Los Angeles Kings their first regulation loss of the season with a 3-2 victory on Monday night.
"He's one of the elite playmakers in the league so it's a good opportunity for me and (Dominic Moore) right now to try and get some offense," Martin said.
Maple Leafs beat Rangers 8-5 in wild home opener
TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs chased another starting goalie — and gave their own netminder some fits, too
Tyler Bozak, Leo Komarov and Nazem Kadri scored third-period goals and Toronto held off the New York Rangers 8-5 on Saturday night in their wild home opener.
It was an adventure in defending for both teams at times, with Toronto pulling ahead 5-1 in the first period and chasing Henrik Lundqvist before the Rangers scored four straight to quieten the Air Canada Centre crowd.
Ice dancers Virtue and Moir will miss Babcock at Olympics
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (AP) — Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will miss hockey coach Mike Babcock at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
With the NHL deciding not to interrupt its season to accommodate the Olympics, and Moir, who has won gold and silver medals in ice dancing with Virtue, said Babcock's absence leaves a big hole — and not just in hockey.
Will NHL awards honor Leafs, Oilers, Columbus?
Mike Babcock, John Tortorella and Todd McLellan had plenty in common.
Not only did the three steer their playoff-starved franchises to the postseason, they are the NHL coach of the year Jack Adams Trophy candidates.
Before this season, the Maple Leafs, Oilers and Blue Jackets combined to make four playoff appearances since the NHL lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season. Those memories are long gone now.
NEW YORK (AP) — Toronto's Mike Babcock, Edmonton's Todd McLellan and Columbus' John Tortorella are the finalists for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL coach of the year.
Members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association voted at the end of the regular season, with the top three designated finalists Wednesday. The winner will be announced June 21 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
Leafs’ Matthews ready to ‘take a break and recharge’
TORONTO (AP) — Auston Matthews is going to take a little break.
The 19-year-old is heading back home to Arizona for some rest and relaxation following a rookie season that will likely result in the first Maple Leafs' Calder Trophy win in 51 years.
Matthews opted against playing for the United States at the upcoming world championships following a hectic two-year stretch that's lacked almost any time off.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Mike Babcock didn't say goodbye to Verizon Center. He said see you soon.
The highest paid coach in the NHL has a Stanley Cup ring and has been around the block a few times. He knows his Toronto Maple Leafs aren't out of their first-round series against the Washington Capitals despite being down 3-2 going into Game 6 back at home on Sunday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Mike Babcock watched the first night of the Stanley Cup playoffs and was glad his players tuned in.
"It's important for your players to be able to watch on TV just how hard everyone plays and how little room there is and how the game works," the Toronto Maple Leafs coach said.
TORONTO (AP) — There will be no Battle of Ontario in the first round of the NHL playoffs.
James van Riemsdyk scored twice, but the Toronto Maple Leafs dropped their regular-season finale 3-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night and will face the Washington Capitals in the opening round of their first postseason since 2013.
Mike Babcock, John Tortorella and Todd McLellan have plenty in common these days.
Not only are the three overseeing playoff-starved franchises surging as they enter the final week of the regular season, they are front-running NHL coach of the year Jack Adams Trophy candidates. It also happens the trio was part of a drastically spinning 2015 coaching carousel that's had a transformative effect.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Auston Matthews' record-setting rookie season has the Toronto Maple Leafs on the verge of returning to the playoffs.
Matthews scored his 39th goal to set the record for most by an American-born rookie and the Maple Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 on Monday night to move closer to clinching their second postseason berth in 12 years.
The NHL's top rookie scorer downplayed his achievement after Toronto closed out a three-game road trip with its fourth straight win.
DETROIT (AP) — The theory around the NHL is that rookies are supposed to wear down from the grind of the 82-season. Apparently, the Toronto Maple Leafs' young stars don't subscribe to that.
Rookies scored four of Toronto's goals in a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings and the Maple Leafs edged closer to their first playoff appearance since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.
Matthews, Nylander lead Maple Leafs past Devils 4-2
TORONTO (AP) — It was the type of game, Mike Babcock said, that good teams find a way to win.
His surging Toronto Maple Leafs did just that, helped by some emerging rookie stars.
Auston Matthews had two assists and William Nylander had a goal and an assist as the Maple Leafs topped the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Thursday night for their seventh win in nine games.
Nylander’s 3 goals help Maple Leafs outlast Bruins 6-5
BOSTON (AP) — William Nylander ended up with bragging rights over his good friend, David Pastrnak, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins in a wild game.
Nylander got his first career hat trick, James van Riemsdyk scored his second of the game to break a tie with 1:36 left and the Maple Leafs snapped a three-game losing streak with a 6-5 win over the Bruins on Saturday night.
Matthews’ 23rd goal helps Maple Leafs beat Red Wings 4-0
DETROIT (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs made quite an investment in goaltender Frederik Andersen last summer, trading a first- and second-round pick to Anaheim to acquire the goaltender and giving him a $25 million, five-year deal.
Ovechkin scores in OT as Capitals come back to beat Leafs
WASHINGTON (AP) — A back-and-forth, high-scoring contest with the upstart Toronto Maple Leafs was a shot of life for the Washington Capitals, who showed they can still win games like in the good ol' days.
Alex Ovechkin scored 22 seconds into overtime as the Capitals won a 6-5 thriller for their third consecutive victory while snapping the Maple Leafs' winning streak at five. Nine different players had points for the Capitals, led by four from Evgeny Kuznetsov and three from Justin Williams.
Marner scores in shootout to lift Leafs over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs won their third straight game on the road and are leaning on their young players to do it.
Mitchell Marner scored in the third round of the shootout to lift the Maple Leafs over the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Wednesday night. Marner's shot from the slot went between the pads of Roberto Luongo.
Matthews, Hyman score in 2nd, Maple Leafs beat Bruins 4-1
BOSTON (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs found a way to overcome a poor opening period.
Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman scored in the second period, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves and the Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Saturday night.
Maple Leafs working with slumping rookie star Matthews
TORONTO (AP) — To help Auston Matthews through the first slump of his rookie season, Toronto coach Mike Babcock has turned to Sidney Crosby and Henrik Zetterberg.
Matthews piled up six goals and 10 points in his first six games, including a historic four-goal outing in his NHL debut. The 19-year-old Matthews was still tied for second Tuesday among all rookies in scoring (12 points), four points behind Patrik Laine.
Van Riemsdyk has 3 goals to lift Leafs over Predators 6-2
TORONTO (AP) — Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock rolled all four lines on Tuesday night.
He only really needed the top one, though.
James van Riemsdyk scored three goals, Tyler Bozak had four assists and Mitch Marner had a goal and set up two more to help Toronto beat the Nashville Predators 6-2.
Van Riemsdyk added an assist, and now he, Bozak and Marner are 1-2-3 in scoring for Toronto after combining for 11 points.