Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 4-3 shootout win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night.
On getting the win:
It’s a big win. People don’t know how hard it is when you come from the West. I coached in Detroit for ten years; we played in the West. This first game at home was always the toughest. If you didn’t get off to a good start, you always ran out of gas. I was happy we were able to get off to a good start. We turned the puck over too much in the second, but I thought we dug in and got some saves out of Freddie in overtime and, obviously, the shootout. Any time you’ve been in a bad spell, it’s usually ugly when you come out of it, but it’s a win and now we can breathe and get playing.
On how the team responded after giving up a 3-1 lead:
I thought the guys tried to do good things. We had lots of opportunities early. We got away from it in the second. I thought the third was tight for both teams. In the end, we found a way to win and it was a good win for us. Like I said, any time you’ve been struggling, you get in your own way a little bit mentally, especially when you haven’t been a good team for a lot of years and aren’t used to winning all the time. You wonder what is going on. I knew we were going to win a game. You don’t know when. Sometimes you need to go through some of these things so you can get better, and yet you never want to be in it when it’s going bad for you.
On the Golden Knights’ resiliency:
This is a good team. That shows you about the NHL now. The parity in the NHL is unbelievable. Each team was allowed to protect the next guy… these are all good players. The other thing about it is they’ve got a whole bunch of free agents. They can trade them all and they can sign them all again the next year. It’s quite a setup, to say the least. They’re a real good team. Gerard (Gallant] does a good job. Did a good job in Florida. They’re organized and they’re having fun and playing with house money and enjoying it.
On Frederik Andersen bouncing back after the iffy 3-3 goal:
Obviously, he didn’t like it. But good for him. That was a good win for him. Ideally, that shootout is even better for him. You did it, and now you get to feel good about yourself. You get to go home and you get to actually sleep good and get up tomorrow and have some zip in practice, and stuff like that. I think that’s important for us. I think we have a chance to be a better team here on Wednesday.