Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 3-2 come-from-behind overtime win over the Boston Bruins on Friday night.
On the comeback victory:
I thought it was a good game. I really thought Boston did a real nice job. I didn’t think there was any room. There weren’t lots of plays. It was probably boring, actually, for the crowd, but it was good for me. I liked it that way.
I didn’t like that we gave up a penalty because we stayed on too long on the power play with four forwards. There is no reason to do that. We’ve got to be smarter than that. We gave up the power play goal. But obviously, the guys did a good job coming back.
It’s great to see Mitch be important at the end and get a couple of points. He’s looking for some positive reinforcement from the game. If you work real hard, the game usually rewards you, so good for him. A good night for our team. Obviously, it looked like we were getting nothing and then suddenly you get two. That’s positive.
On the power play breaking through after early struggles:
Our power play hasn’t been as good lately, but we’ve got good people and good scheme, so we’ve got to get back to it. It was nice that they were able to respond tonight in that area. Obviously, 6-on-5, too, was a big play for us.
On his comfort level with Ron Hainsey playing huge minutes on the penalty kill:
Because he’s smart and he’s good and he’s talented. Him and Zaitsev are another level from the other guys on the PK, so we try to use them as much as we possibly can.
On the challenge of using just one defence pair on the PK and if the goal right at the end of the penalty kill had anything to do with it:
I don’t know if it had anything to do with that. [Hyman] was right there, too. It was one of those things. We’d have liked to have gotten the clear and we didn’t get the clear. We think our penalty kill has been better than we’ve been statistically of late, but we’ve got to do a better job because we’re giving up too much. We’ll figure that out as time goes. Maybe we’ve got to use more people. We’ll figure it out.
On whether Auston Matthews will make the road trip to Boston:
No. Once we knew he wasn’t playing, there was no sense [coming on the trip].
On the HHOF pre-game ceremony:
I just think the Hall of Fame… until you go there and you look at it and you see one of those events, you don’t realize how special it is to people and how proud they are to be a part of that club. I mean, Patty Marleau got his 101st game-winner. He’s got to be in the Hall of Fame, doesn’t he?
When you look at it, it’s quite a club. For those people, tonight is special. Obviously, a lot of the people that are already in you know as well. It’s a special night. We told our guys to enjoy the ceremony. It’s a special time. We’re lucky in Toronto that we get to do these kinds of things. And then let’s get ready to play. It was a nice way to end the night, obviously, to win.
I never coached Teemu [Selanne] but I’ve known him a long time. I coached Paul [Kariya] obviously. He told me climbed off his wallet and bought a new house, so that was good to hear. I like to hear that. They’re good people and you’re proud of them. You’re proud to be involved in their life.
On long-time University of Alberta head coach Clare Drake getting the call:
I look at those things…. [Pat Burns], for example. If you’re going to the Hall of Fame, it’s nice if you can get in there while you’re alive. But I can tell you it’s special for Clare to be with his family. There are so many people. The U of A sent out a big thing the other day. He’s so well-respected and so fondly thought of, that the people that will be touching base with him and the memories he will be reliving are fantastic. A special night for him as well.
On whether Tom Watt should be joining Clare Drake in the Hall:
Tom’s obviously a really nice man. I don’t know how, in the end, they decide. They’ve got a committee and they decide and it’s hard to get in. There are great players and good builders that haven’t gotten in. You hope that everyone is rewarded in the way they should be.