The Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2-1 overtime win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night proved to be a special one for the team’s head coach, Mike Babcock.
The victory was the 700th of his NHL career. According to the team’s PR Twitter account, he is only the eighth coach in league history to reach the milestone, joining an elite group that includes Scotty Bowman (1,244 regular-season wins), Joel Quenneville (897), Ken Hitchcock (849), Barry Trotz (821), Al Arbour (782), Lindy Ruff (736) and Paul Maurice (703).
Quenneville (Florida Panthers), Trotz (New York Islanders) and Maurice (Winnipeg Jets) remain active in the NHL. Both Bowman and Arbour are in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
By only needing 1,295 contests to reach 700 victories, Babcock required the third-fewest games to reach the number. Only Bowman (1,192) and Quenneville (1,281) were quicker, according to Sportsnet Stats.
Of his wins, 69 came in his two seasons with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, 458 were earned during his 10-year stint with the Detroit Red Wings and 173 in a little over four campaigns with the Maple Leafs.
In his 17-season NHL career, the 56-year-old has only missed the playoffs twice and won a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008.
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