Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
On manufacturing a response in the third period after trailing 3-1:
You give up 18 shots on the road, you’ve done a lot of good things. Obviously, the score wasn’t going our way and then we gave up the power play goal against. It looked like deja vu, like we were going to do it again. But I thought we had a real good response. I talked to you the other day — I thought we had real good internal leadership.
Everyone talked about Freddy because he talked publicly, but in our room after last game, and we had it again tonight in between periods from [Patrick Marleau]. I think those things are real important. When the players take over the team and own the team and own what they do, you’re a much better team. I was impressed with what happened tonight.
On Patrick Marleau speaking up between periods:
Patty and I talked when he got here and he said to me, “If some night, I need to talk…” But I think those things are important. If you saw at the end, Ron Hainsey was running everything at the end. That, to me, is what you want. You want your veteran guys who have done a lot of winning to have a stake in it. They make you a better team. I think that’s what you want if you’re going to have success.
I think it’s important that we went through the adversity we went through. I really believe that. It can make you better. Now we’ve got to dig in and win some games here and get on a bit of a roll. Obviously, tonight is a good step. We had some real, real good players tonight.
On whether this was the type of gut-it-out win the team needed:
Obviously, any time it’s not going as good, it usually isn’t pretty. Lots of times your goalie saves 50 or something like that, but tonight it was the opposite of that. Our players picked up Freddy and really did a good job. We were stingy. I thought our forwards really worked hard to help out our D.
Going into the game without Riels and without Zaits, you look like you’re pretty limited on the backend, but I thought Dermott and Carrick had real good games for us. I thought Dermott was really good and I thought Borgman was real physical. We got good contributions from those guys.
On Morgan Rielly’s status:
I don’t really know his status. He’ll be checked out tomorrow. He skated today in hopes of playing himself. To me, that’s a real good sign. He couldn’t go. They’ll check him out with more detail now and get home. We’ll know more for the Colorado game.
On the importance of the goal for Mitch Marner:
I thought that was great, but I thought Mitchy played good all night. We played him all over in the third. We played him on the left side, right side. We played him on all three lines. I thought he played well and I thought he earned opportunity, which is important. We had a much better effort work-wise tonight than we’ve had and I think it showed.
On giving up another shorthanded goal on the power play:
Well, we’re going to fix it. We’re not doing that. We’ll put that to bed now, for sure, because that’s ridiculous. I just think, for tonight, we’ll deal on all the positives and then we’ll fix that up here on Monday morning.