Babcock bag skates Leafs — in the dark — after ‘unacceptable’ blowout loss


The lights went out at Toronto’s practice facility on Wednesday, but the Leafs kept skating.

And skating.

And skating.

Following an ugly 7-0 loss to L.A. on Tuesday, head coach Mike Babcock put his team to work, right through a power outage that forced the team to skate in the dark.

The scene, courtesy CBC:

Babcock said his players would do their “penance” at Wednesday’s practice, and indeed they did in a manner similar to the infamous scene in “Miracle” where 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks (played by Kurt Russell) kept the team after an exhibition game to skate, putting them through a gruelling pace after a lacklustre effort against Norway.  

Jake Gardiner described the practice as the toughest yet in the Babcock era, which started last season.

“We’re not playing like that,” Babcock said of Tuesday’s effort. “It’s unacceptable to play that. It’s un-Leaf-like as far as I’m concerned now and we’re not playing like that.”

Tuesday’s loss came after a fairly successful three-game winning streak, though it’s hardly Toronto’s lone blowout loss of the year. The Leafs were thumped 5-1 in Brooklyn two weeks ago, and also allowed seven goals at home in a 7-3 loss to the Lightning back on Oct. 25.

Last night’s defeat, though, was clearly something different, and wasn’t just about the ugly scoreline.