After a 0-6 losing streak, November 20's news of Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock being fired hasn't come as a shock to many. Babcock is out and the Toronto Marlies' Sheldon Keefe is in as the new head coach for the Leafs. It seems almost nobody at all in Toronto is surprised to see Babcock go.
The Leafs announced on Wednesday afternoon that Babcock had been relieved of his coaching duties.
The team has appointed Keefe, who spent the last four years coaching the Marlies in the American Hockey League, as his replacement.
Babcock had been at the Leafs since May 2015, leading the team from a last-place finish in his first season to a return to the postseason.
However, the team lost at the first-round stage of the playoffs in each of the last three years. A disastrous six defeats on the spin sealed his fate.
And, with the Leafs' form having suffered so badly of late, Torontonians did not seem particularly surprised to see Babcock ditched.
"As a Leaf fan I was excited when they hired Mike Babcock, and I'm just as excited to see him go," reads one tweet.
"THE BABCLOCK HITS MIDNIGHT" is probably our favourite. A+ effort.
iVe ALwaYs bEt oN mIkE bAbCoCk ilL cOnTiNue tO bEt oN hIm https://t.co/YLZ0tHuLZ1— Brendan🇨🇦 (@Brendan🇨🇦 )1574287162.0
mike babcock? more like mike byecock— inez (@inez)1574287141.0
Mike Babcock right now: https://t.co/hjQEzMJ8oT— Jacob (@Jacob)1574287734.0
https://t.co/8MmlP4vDEH— Adam (@Adam)1574228634.0
All jokes aside, plenty of people seem pretty relieved.
Plenty of fans shared their thanks with Babcock's past efforts, but stress they felt it was time to go.
Let me reiterate that Mike Babcock is a good coach and a good dude. But the team has moved on and he didn't adjust. Such as life— Stephen B Smith (@Stephen B Smith)1574287150.0
I remember saying Mike Babcock was not going to be the @MapleLeafs saviour and everybody gave me crap... well here… https://t.co/zct5D3Wq9S— Scoobs🤿 (@Scoobs🤿)1574287157.0
"Let me reiterate that Mike Babcock is a good coach and a good dude," reads one such comment. "But the team has moved on and he didn't adjust. Such as (sic) life."
Whether or not you think canning Babs was the right decision, the Leafs desperately need this to spark an upswing.
We've seen it happen with the Raptors after they fired Dwane Casey, so who knows? Maybe this is the first step on the road to redemption.