Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night.
On his team’s slow start and strong finish:
I liked our second. I liked our third. I didn’t think our first was good enough. We kept them on the outside in the first, but they threw a lot of rubber at the net anyway. I thought we got competing and competing at a high level. I thought we had lots of opportunities. Luongo was really sharp.
I mean, we got a point. Let’s get at her here. Happy Thanksgiving everybody if you’re American. Enjoy a little turkey tomorrow and get ready to play.
On the decision to put Mitch Marner with Auston Matthews to start the game:
I was just trying to make sure that #16 was playing against the right people. They get to jump you on the road a little bit. We were trying to figure out what would make it go. We knew we were going to adjust as soon as we saw what they were going to do and go from there. We did lots of good things tonight. I’m not sure what we’re going to do in Carolina. We’ll look at it.
On the idea behind the line changes:
What we did in Montreal no one really noticed. What we did in Montreal is, when they were jumping one of our lines, we didn’t let them jump it anymore just because we had too many centres and they couldn’t jump it. We could run their bench instead of them running ours and us being in full panic mode and spending lots of time in the d-zone.
On the difference between William Nylander and Marner on Matthews’ wing:
The difference between him and Willy is Willy can shoot it and he’s more of a passer. When you get those pucks dead centre in the middle, you’re looking for somebody to pass it. I like it going under the bar. We’ll figure it out. I mean, they’re good hockey players. We’ll figure it out here over time.
On Name Kadri’s cross-checking call that negated a late power play going into OT:
I haven’t addressed it. Obviously, you can’t put yourself in front of the team. I thought the [initial] cross-check in the back was awful, but I also thought the haul down of Matthews when he was home free was awful.
On whether Zach Hyman was pulled by the concussion spotters: