Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 4-0 win over the New York Rangers, their fourth win in a row.
On the back-to-back shutouts for the team:
I thought we started good tonight. We gave Mac some support early, and then I thought he played good late. A big win for our team on back-to-back nights. They’ve had a break, so we probably caught them at a time. But still a good win for our team and we had lots of contributors tonight.
On the goaltending Curtis McElhinney has given the club when called on and whether it’s a tough job playing spot duty:
For sure it is, and yet it’s a good job. Lots of people who love to do what he does. It’s like anything. It’s how you look at your lot in life and how you dig in and you do the best you can with what you’re given. Mac is a real good pro and a real good teammate to Freddy, which I think is real important for your starting goalie — to have a good partner. And he’s a real good teammate for the guys.
On whether the last four games are the most complete stretch of hockey the team has played this season:
It’s a good question. We think we’re getting better. We think we have a chance to be quite a bit better. We’re just a work in progress. I think, early, we were exciting and we scored like crazy, but we didn’t know how to play without it. There was a while where we struggled and everyone thought we weren’t very good. I actually thought we were pretty good. We didn’t give up much, but we couldn’t score. And now we’re scoring again and guys are getting their feel back.
We’re deeper than we’ve been. We’ve got four lines. Let’s be honest: The kids that we brought up, all of them… I didn’t know Z could be this good. I thought Hollsy was really good. Dermott has been good. We seem to have some good depth that you don’t know until you try. That’s positive.
On using Dermott, Holl and Kapanen on the penalty kill:
I mean, they did a good job. Kappy is going to be that type of player. Obviously, they come here and you put them out there. If they can do it, they out again. If they can’t do it, they don’t go out. The ball is in their court. But they’re all good players. One of the reasons you try to keep guys down as long as you can is that they get confidence down there. If you’re here and you’re not playing and you’re in and out every second game, it’s hard to gain confidence. Being a real good player in the league you’re playing in before you arrive is real important.
On the difficulty of the decisions when Morgan Rielly and Ron Hainsey are ready to return:
I don’t know about that. They’re playing if they’re ready to play. Let’s not kid ourselves here. They’re real good players. We’ll sort out the rest of it after that. The good thing about it is we’ve got an off day. We’ll watch the game today on the plane, and then we’ll figure out what we’ll do from there.