Asked on Friday how he plans to fix his team's defensive miscues, Winnipeg Jets bench boss Paul Maurice didn't pass up the opportunity to take a dig at a coaching colleague.
"We've had players come in that didn't get here because they have those great sticks, great reads naturally. That has to be developed, and it's going to take time to develop that," Maurice told reporters. "The mistakes that I made, I did just a horrible job in relation to my colleague (Toronto Maple Leafs coach) Mike Babcock in selling our age and the mistakes.
"When (the Maple Leafs) have lost a game, it's just a wonderful learning experience, and they win and it's a triumph of character. We have the opposite thing going on here. But that's my choice, because I don't ever want to walk into a season and say we're not here to win the Stanley Cup."
According to NHLNumbers.com, the Maple Leafs are the league's eighth-youngest club (26.8 years old on average), while the Jets are the second-youngest, at 25.8.
The Jets and Maple Leafs have been linked by rookie sensations Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews, with the Jets freshman outpacing Matthews by a single point. Last month, Babcock noted Laine has the added bonus of playing with center Mark Scheifele, who has put up 65 points this season, while Matthews has been lined up with "two kids."
The teams split their season series one game apiece, with Winnipeg grabbing a 5-4 overtime win on Oct. 19, and Toronto winning by the same outcome Feb. 21. They won't meet again this season.