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Babcock Impresses Murray

Not too many people knew much about Mike Babcock when he was hired as coach of the Mighty Ducks last spring, but General Manager Bryan Murray did and he’s pleased with the job Babcock has done.

“I knew that it would take some time for the players to understand the things that he wants done and he’s done a great job of communicating with them,” Murray said about Babcock, who has led the Ducks to a 6-6-3-0 record after Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Minnesota.

“Everyone knows about his enthusiasm, but his preparation and his ability to study for individual games has been really top-notch.”

Before being hired by Murray, Babcock spent the previous two seasons coaching the Ducks’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, guiding the team to the Calder Cup playoffs each season. This is Babcock’s first season as an NHL coach.

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"[Babcock’s] starting to trust the younger players more than he did,” Murray said. “It was more of a situation of him adapting to new people more than a new league and he’s learning that sometimes you have to let the players play.”

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Winger Mike Leclerc did not score for the Ducks against Minnesota, but he certainly was one of the best players on the ice. Leclerc was a force on both ends from beginning to end.

“He got the puck out better than he has, and I’ve been on him a lot about that lately,” Babcock said of Leclerc, who finished with eight shots on goal. “He was the big man on the wall getting the puck out.”

-- Lonnie White


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