Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 7-6 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks in game three of the regular season.
On the wild 7-6 result:
It was exciting for the fans, for sure. It was going in on both nets. We had a lot of good plays. I thought they were flying and we were standing there watching them at the start. I don’t know if that it is too much respect or what the start, but once we got playing, I thought we did a real good job. And yet, the puck kept going in our net. I thought we were home free a few times and that never happened.
On what Zach Hyman brings to a line that makes it more effective:
I don’t know… Zach can’t get anyone to even talk about him. But to me, why does that line play in the offensive zone all the time? He just keeps going and getting it, going and getting it. And he’s heavy. If you look around the league, how many guys can skate like that and protect the puck like that? We like that. We’re fortunate to have him.
On the decision to move Kasperi Kapanen up next to Auston Matthews, to great results:
Obviously, it wasn’t going very good and we had to do something. Kappy is another big body. We’d like him to decide he wants to play like Hyman. That’s what we’d like him to decide to do. Get to the net. Be on the inside all of the time. Bring it every single night. If he can do that, he can play with the good players.
On Matthews and Kane trading late goals and holding their ear to the crowd:
I thought that was good. What I like, though, is Toews playing head-to-head with Matty. I thought that was really good. It was a good matchup, a good opportunity for Matthews. Any time you’re playing against a determined leader like John, I think it’s a real good opportunity for a young guy. He’s been the best, in my opinion, for a long time in that role as a matchup guy. When you can play well against him, I think that is important.
And obviously, Tavares was unreal. That line was unbelievable for us.
On what Matthews can learn from going head to head against Jonathan Toews:
There is a determined guy. You are not getting a more determined guy or a better leader in hockey than that guy. He knows how to play. He’s better in the big moments. It doesn’t matter who you play with him, they’re always good players. They might be, but when they play with him, they’re good players.
And that’s what you want from Matthews. You want a guy who is going to… You know, he wants to be the best player in hockey. In order to do that, you’ve got to play 200 feet and you’ve got to play with and without it.