Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, the Leafs’ seventh win in their last eight games.
On Mitch Marner’s five-point night:
I mean, tonight was different. He was better than he’s been. He’s been working really hard every day in practice, and now it’s starting to show in the game. He wasn’t hit and miss. He was the full 60 minutes of doing it right and on top of it and working hard. I don’t know how many pucks he stole tonight, but it was a ton of them. In the end, if you do it right, you get rewarded.
I thought all of us started good, and then when we got hit and miss, suddenly you don’t score now. But if you just keep doing it right and playing with detail, you get rewarded like Mitch did tonight. He had a good night. Good for him.
On the line of Nazem Kadri, Mitch Marner and Patrick Marleau:
I think it’s been good. It’s like anything — you’re always hoping for a little bit more all the time. I thought it was good for Patrick Marleau tonight, too. I think he had a couple of points tonight — if I’m not mistaken — as well. When you haven’t scored, it’s good to get scoring and feeling good about yourself again. It was a good night for those guys. They played against good players and they played well.
On whether he is feeling more comfortable with Marner in defensive zone spots:
Yeah. I mean, obviously, we are trying to get to a point where we have four lines and you just roll them out the door and don’t worry about it. We’re going to try to do that over time here. But I thought we had lots of good players… well, the whole team was great in the first. We came out and really jumped. We got off of it a little bit there and got carried away [in the second period]. It was a track meet there in the second; too many chances. We then settled in and got her going again in the third.