Mike Babcock’s post-game comments after his team’s 2-1 loss in overtime to Washington in Game 5.
You play almost a perfect road game. How difficult is to walk out of here tonight with a defeat?
Babcock: It’s disappointing. I thought we had a real good first. I think the shots were 5-5 and then they got on the power play for back-to-back power plays. They scored on the one where we didn’t have enough pressure as we should’ve. We got a little too high. I thought we had a real good second and I thought we had a real good opportunity in the second. We skated good. I thought the third was pretty even. I think it was just one of those plays. Coming back into our own zone, we have enough people there. We didn’t sort it out right. You hate to give up the freebie, but the bottom line is we’ve got to go home and win a game now. You want to be right here in overtime in Game 7. I think it’s a good series. It’s a lot of fun. Let’s just keep enjoying ourselves. Let’s go into Toronto and let’s play right. Let’s not get all wound up by our crowd and try to wow them. Let’s come out and play and take care of the puck.
Why do you think your power play has gotten away from you and not been as successful as it was during the season?
Babcock: We’re not winning any faceoffs, and then our entries haven’t been any good. I didn’t mind our power play during the playoffs thus far. I didn’t think tonight was good at all. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board. They did a good job on that. They got in our head a little bit there because we’re not coming with the same kind of pace we normally do on entries. We’re going to have to win some faceoffs and win some battles and compete in that area. Anyway you look at it, our speciality teams have been real good in some ways, but it cost us tonight.
Can you take me through what you saw on the Nazem Kadri hit on Alex Ovechkin and what was going through your mind when you see their best player down on the ice?
Babcock: It’s interesting. Trotzy probably thought it should be a major. I thought there should’ve been no penalty. That’s the beauty of the playoffs. The other night, when Polak is done for the year, our bench thought it should’ve been a major and they thought it should be no penalty. That’s kind of the playoffs. You try to get someone in between who is more reasonable than a coach.
Would you like to see your club duplicate the effort you got here tonight at home?
Babcock: I’d like us to continue to skate and get after them, is what I’d like to see more of, and to take care of the puck. We haven’t taken care of the puck as good. We have to take care of the puck. We just have to play a simple game where it’s all team-first.
Is the Matthews line getting better with each game in this series?
Babcock: I thought that line right there, Naz’s line, Boyle’s line [were good]. We’ve got to get Bozie’s line to take a step here for us for sure. He’s a good player. They’re all good players on that line. There is not a lot of room and you’ve got to compete. With the way Hyman is at the net and how strong he is and Willy can shoot it and pass it and skate… It’s a good line.
Did you think JVR was in a position to win the game there?
Babcock: Well, obviously. He’s a good player. He’s in home free, obviously. But JVR scores. Give him credit. When he gets his chances, he usually finishes. It didn’t go in for him. That’s all.
What do you hope for your players to keep in mind now for the next 48 hours?
Babcock: Just get on the plane, have a meal, relax. We played good. Don’t worry about it too much. Let’s have a day tomorrow and get recharged and play good at home. I keep saying this to you, and I don’t know if you really believe it. You can’t have any more fun than this. These games are good. We’ve been to overtime four times. Good, competitive series. We still believe we have a chance to win.