Babcock details visit with Matthews: ‘It’s not going to be rosy every day’

Posted: 17/05/2018 in NHL, Sports
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Following reports of a rift stemming from the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, head coach Mike Babcock visited star player Auston Matthews in his native Arizona earlier this month.

Babcock says the face time allowed them to work out any outstanding issues.

“He wants to be better, I want him to be better, I want our team to be better,” Babcock told TSN’s Darren Dreger. “He wants to be playing now, so that’s what we’re working towards. He wants to be the best two-way player in the game, so we’re going to work as hard as we can.

“It’s not going to be rosy every day. It never is. Anyone who perceives the NHL that things are going good every day, it’s not like that. It’s a competitive, competitive atmosphere.”

The meeting came after Matthews, who maintained a point-per-game pace throughout the regular season, struggled to a two-point showing in Toronto’s opening-round series against the Boston Bruins.

And while Matthews took flack for failing to find the scoresheet more frequently, Babcock was also the target of criticism after he elected not to double-shift his star player against a banged-up Boston squad.

For now, it appears they’ve cleared the air.

“There’s a big difference between being 28 and totally established, and being 20,” Babcock added. “We’ve got a lot of young people on our team, so that guidance is going to continue to happen. But we’re excited about our group.”

The Maple Leafs finished the regular season with a franchise-best 105 points.


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