Jake Gardiner Receives High Praise From His Head Coach

Published February 6, 2018 at 8:49 PM

"Head coach Mike Babcock met with the media today and spoke a lot about his defensive and in particular Jake Gardiner, who had three assists in Monday's 7-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
«I mean, obviously, being an elite skater is real important,» Babcock said about what it takes to be a good defenseman in today's NHL, per Maple Leafs Hot Stove. «Elite hockey sense really helps. A great stick and understanding of the game so that you can sort things out. The really good players, when they see it happening, can help other people see it happen.»
He then took this theory when talking about Gardiner's play this season.
«He's one of those guys with elite hockey sense. He sees what is happening before it happens. He made a lot of good plays defensively that led to good plays offensively.»
Babcock was then asked about Gardiner's 13 assists in the last nine games and whether or not he has elevated his play or is getting more puck luck.
«Maybe when Rielly went out he just stepped up a little bit, but I don't know the answer to that totally,» said Babcock. «Obviously, he feels good about himself and is on a roll. His power play hasn't scored at the same rate as the other power play this year, so that affects your stats, too. But he's feeling good about himself right now and that's good for our team. He's an important player.»"

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