Game Day Quotes
Mike Babcock on what Igor Ozhiganov would need to show him to prove he’s NHL ready:
I don’t know. What is going to tell me Rosen is ready? What is going to tell me Borgman is ready? What is going to tell me… I am just going to keep watching and putting them in situations. What I find with training camp is they start to get tired. The more they travel, the more you put them through, and you’ve got to bring your energy every day. The more duress they go through, the more you find out about people. That is why camp is this long. We get to figure it all out. I haven’t made my mind up on anything. We just keep watching and keep watching and keep watching. Someone is going to get the job. Sometimes in the first month, you don’t get it right anyway, and we just move them around.
Babcock on the evaluation process:
The good thing is we still have lots of time. That goes for all of those guys. I think, initially, when you make the NHL, the first thing is you breathe and go, “Yeah, I am in the NHL.” There are other guys that want those jobs, too. You’ve got to keep pushing every day. The best of the best — that’s what they do. They just keep excelling. It’s early in camp. Like I said, fatigue will set in for some of them. Some of them got a day and a half off. That was like Christmas for them, for crying out loud. Others are going to Buffalo.
Babcock on Sparks’ progression:
I didn’t know who he was a few years back, to be honest with you. I think he was an American league goalie of the year, if I’m not mistaken. He is a big guy. He is a young guy. And yet, Mac was the backup goalie of the year last year. His numbers speak of themselves, and he was a real professional. A lot of these decisions you make — they’re hard decisions, but you’ve got to make them. When time is on your side, why would you rush?
Babcock on the projected fourth line of Johnsson – Lindholm – Kapanen:
Lindy is a very, very, very intelligent player. His English is good, so it’s easy for him, but he gets up to speed quickly and he’s really, really smart. What I like about him is he doesn’t sound, by listening to him, that he was a very good player for a long time. He’s just kind of gotten better and better and better, and he’s taken off. His hockey sense and his edges are unreal, and it looks like we’ve got ourselves a good player.
Babcock on Jake Gardiner:
We’ve got two 50-point d-men. It’s hard to have 50-point d-men. Jake is very, very, very intelligent and I think an upper-echelon player and a good person. He likes being in Toronto. The players want the puck. The good thing about those guys is they don’t carry the puck. They pass the puck. The forwards don’t want your D carrying the puck. They want them to give it to them and support it. Those guys get it moving and can get it through from the top. They are slippery that way with good instincts. He is a good player for us.
Babcock on the round of cuts upcoming:
The beauty of the off day, too, is I’ll get a chance to look at it. I’ve got it sorted pretty good, but there are decisions there, as you guys know, that we don’t have any answers to. We’ve got to be careful about what we do and when we do it.
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines
Patrik Marleau – Auston Matthews – Tyler Ennis
Andreas Johnsson – Par Lindholm – Kasperi Kapanen
Carl Grundstrom – Adam Cracknell – Trevor Moore
Emerson Clark – Adam Brooks – Jeremy Bracco
Jake Gardiner – Nikita Zaitsev
Calle Rosen – Igor Ozhiganov
Andreas Borgman – Justin Holl
Buffalo Sabres Projected Lines
Jeff Skinner – Jack Eichel – Tage Thompson
Evan Rodrigues – Patrik Berglund – Sam Reinhart
Justin Bailey – Johan Larsson – Kyle Okposo
Scott Wilson – Kyle Criscuolo – Rendell
Marco Scandella – Risto Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin – Jake McCabe
Nathan Beaulieu – Zach Bogosian