Mike Babcock Post Game: Leafs 5 vs. Lightning 0

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Mike Babcock
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 7: Mike Babcock of the Toronto Maple Leafs heads to the bench for warm-up before the Leafs take on the Detroit Red Wings at the Air Canada Centre on March 7, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images)

Mike Babcock’s post-game comments after the 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay on Thursday night.


Provide a perspective of how well your club bounced back here tonight, Mike, and what impressed you.

Mike Babcock: Well, real important for us. Obviously, with the way we played the other night, we wanted to bounce back. We were embarrassed. The guys did a good job. We scored timely goals early, and did a good job in front of their net. I thought that was important. Andie was real good and our penalty kill was real good.

To tighten up on the defensive end… you got some night secondary scoring, but that seemed to be the story. There wasn’t much space for Tampa.

Babcock: I thought we skated real good early. As the game got lopsided, we probably didn’t skate as good. But I thought we skated real good early. We had good energy, and everybody was going. I think that’s real important for us, obviously. I thought all four lines were good. We didn’t have to worry about matchups. A good win for our team, and good things happened in the league for us tonight at the same time. You’re lucky for that to happen. You just got to go home and get ready for the next one.

How big of a challenge — speaking of the next one — is Chicago going to be for you?

Babcock: It’s a challenge. We’ve got to stay out of the box, obviously. It’ll be fun to play them. I look forward to it. I don’t see them as much as I used t being in Detroit, but I look forward to it.

Did the guys do a good job of creating traffic to allow your defence to be as effective as they were.

Babcock: I thought for sure. I thought Rielly had a real good game back there for us, which was real important for him, too. Hadn’t gone quite as smooth here late. It was great for him to have the kind of game he had. He’s had a real good trip here with the game in Carolina and the game tonight. So that’s positive. Just, in general, we had good traffic and good, heavy o-zone play early, and that led to goals.

You’ve had lots of matchups with Quenneville. Obviously, he was on your coaching staff. Just a word about his legacy?

Babcock: A real good man, a real good coach obviously. Coached against him for a long, long time and had an opportunity to work with him a couple of times. I enjoyed it every single time. He enjoys the game. He arrived in Chicago and his group was kind of like the one we’ve got here. It was going the right direction. He moulded that into a championship team. He’s been able to do special, special things. Anybody who wins three Cups with one group in today’s era is a phenomenal thing. So, you know, good for him and the group there. I mean, he’s got great leadership in Toews and there’s no better player than Kane. You talk about the back end with Keith and Seabrook, and all of a sudden they’ve done a heck of a job with [Corey Crawford] in there. They’ve got a real nice hockey club. Stan Bowman’s done a good job of keeping it replenished each year.

What did you see from Boyle tonight and his line?

Babcock: A real good leader for us. He was a man on the bench. Turn the puck over and he’s happy to tell the guys not to turn the puck over. I thought it was special for him to give him the ovation and a nice tribute. They should’ve. He’s done a good job here. It was great for him to be out there. His family came down and he got to enjoy that as well. I think that’s important. Now we’re happy to have him. He can have a huge impact even in a short period of time. We look forward to that.