Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.
On the game:
I thought there were no shots in the first for either team. There were no real opportunities even though there were both goals and it was 1-1 after one. I thought our team played real well in the second. We took some penalties. We needed Freddie and our penalty kill, obviously. We scored timely goals tonight and found a way to win. I thought the Marleau line and the Naz line were good playing against two real good centers and real good lines. I thought they did a real nice job for us.
On whether the Wild’s big advantage in shots translated into scoring chances:
In the first, there were hardly any chances for either team, to be honest with you. In the second period, their power play had chances. I think they had four power plays if I’m not mistaken. I think they had some of their shot advantage in that area, for sure. And then we were ahead, so you don’t need to score anymore. You just need to make sure you keep it out.
We missed an assignment there on the penalty kill forecheck there before they scored their goal. I wouldn’t have liked that not to happen. But all in all, it was a good night for us. Good for our goaltender, too. Confidence is an important thing. It’s hard to get in the league. A good night for him.
On whether Ron Hainsey’s importance is flying under the radar:
Not for me. That’s why he’s out there all the time. Z and him were ultra-competitive there at the end of the game when the game was on the line there. Smart and hard to play against. Big night for those guys.
On Auston Matthews’ status for the weekend:
I don’t have a clue, honest to God. I don’t know. We’ll go in there tomorrow and they’ll do whatever they do with him, and they’ll keep me abreast as it goes on. The one thing I know is that you can’t go to a guy and ask him every day. You’re putting pressure on a guy. It’s not like that. When they’re ready to play, they’re going to tell me and we’ll get him in.
On whether Zach Hyman will gain some confidence from setting up the Patrick Marleau goal:
I think he should have the world of confidence. But I’m the coach and I like him a tonne. I put him out there so I think he has tonnes of confidence. He’s right up there in our 5v5 scoring. He doesn’t get to play the power play; he could easily play on the power play net front. He plays well for us. He blocks shots. He’s physical. He’s hard to play against. He comes every single night. He’s a good player for us.
On Marleau’s game filling in at center, beating out an icing, scoring a goal:
Really good, and obviously a good example for all of us. You’re 38 years old and you work that hard and do things right. I don’t want Patty to have to play in the middle. It’s a lot of work to play in the middle. You have to do things right over 200 feet all the time. Right now, we need him and I thought he stepped up real good tonight.