A deafening message from the mouth of the softest-spoken player on the team. That’s what Frederik Andersen, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ mid-season MVP, delivered to the media in Philadelphia Thursday night after yet another blown lead and another one-goal loss, the Leafs’ fourth consecutive. As seasoned coach Mike Babcock has seen so often, things have to get worse before they can get better. The screaming from the bench, the callouts in the press—those can only go so far. “Feistiness,” Babcock called it. “Internal accountability stuff.” Change must rise from within. “To me, that’s the first sign that you might have a chance to actually do something. I thought we had that yesterday, so that was positive,” Babcock said Friday in the bowels of the Canadian Tire Centre. “I don’t think they needed me to send the message. All you have to do is watch yourself play.” Stopping short of calling out names and numbers, Andersen — the hardest-working goaltender in the league —stood before the microphones and questioned the odd-man rushes, the effort, the attitude, even the power-play minutes of his mates.
Matthews: Andersen’s message marks ‘tipping point’ for Maple Leafs
Sportsnet | Jan 19