Mike Babcock on back-to-backs, bye weeks, and burgers

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock comments after a tough loss against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Ignorance (with a side order of fries) is bliss.

One night after a convincing shutout win over the Detroit Red Wings, the Toronto Maple Leafs came up just short against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Leafs head coach Mike Babcock was asked during his post-game press conference if the second halves of back-to-backs are tough on his young players. Toronto has among the youngest teams in the NHL on average.

“When you were young, you played three minor hockey games in one days and no one knows,” he said to reporters. “You eat a burger, and then you have some fries, and you put a little ketchup on the side — you don’t know.

“No one told you you were tired, so you weren’t tired. Now it’s just because we have all these people working for us who are telling you you gotta eat this and do that. Forget that — play the game.”

Boy, did they need a Hero burger Thursday.

It turns out the Leafs are 3-7-1 in the second half of back-to-backs in 2016-17. Their 18 back-to-backs leads the NHL.

A few weeks back, Babcock spoke out about the newly-mandated bye week for each NHL team which spans a five-day period at some point during the season. The original intention of the bye week was to provide a rest period for players in an otherwise gruelling schedule.

Babcock said the bye week has been counter-productive.

“I think it’s 100 per cent wrong for player safety,” Babcock said on Jan. 7. “You’ve got so many games in such a short period of time and you’re jamming in more. To me, the more days rest you can have by not playing back-to-backs and jamming it in the healthier you have a chance to be I believe.”

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.