Thoughts on the game:
Mike Babcock: I thought we had the puck a lot. I thought we played with good speed. We made a couple of mistakes and they scored. I thought Andersen was really solid for us. We didn’t give up much, but he didn’t create anything. I liked a lot of things about our team tonight. We’ve got good speed. We’ve got good skill. Our backend is a much improved backend over a year ago. We’re much more dynamic. We’ve still got to learn to play with the puck a little bit. We don’t shoot the puck and go to the net and get on the inside enough, and cycle hard enough. I thought when we did it in the third period we really took the game over. All in all, I was pleased with our performance. They had, basically, their team dressed. We matched up real well.
The fourth line an offensive catalyst given the hard work they put into it?
Babcock: I thought they did good. Obviously, Kapanen was real good for us. The fourth line just got to the top and shot some pucks there, and did it that way. We took a penalty late. [Gardiner] – stick on puck instead of stick on hand and we don’t take that penalty and end up going down 4 on 3. And then we turned our back to the play there. Carrick hasn’t been out in a lot of those situations, but he will be in more of them because he’s a real good player.
How did you think Andrew Nielsen did tonight?
Babcock: Alright. I mean, he’s a kid. He needs a year or two in the minors. He’ll figure that out over time.
You had good energy right off the hop with the scrap. Brandon Prust, he’s going to bring you that…
Babcock: Yeah, you betcha. I thought he did a good job, too, and stood up for his teammates. He’s a real good pro. I thought, in general, it was a good game for our group. I’m just getting to know them. To see the speed that we can play with… we’re fun to watch. Sometimes we don’t get a whole bunch done, but we’re fun to watch. We’ve got to learn to do a little bit more with the puck and realize that you’ve got to get on the inside in the National Hockey League. You can do all the cute things in the neutral zone but you’ve to play right in the offensive zone and in your own zone.
More roster trimming coming with the day off?
Babcock: Not really. Because we’ve got three games in four nights, I’m going to dress a Leaf-looking roster in two of those games and I’m going to dress a Marlie-looking roster in the game in Hamilton.