Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night, improving the team’s record to 6-1-0.
On his overall impressions of the game:
A good night for Sparksy. He played much better, which was good. I thought our team was pretty solid. In the second there, we took a bunch of penalties, and then we get our people on the ice and I didn’t think we were very good at that point of the game. But other than that, I liked us.
On Frederik Andersen’s status and whether it was a surprise injury in the morning skate:
He’ll be starting when we play next on Thursday.
We knew. We just wanted to check. As soon as we knew that he was anything, we just decided that we were going the other way.
On Kasperi Kapanen’s hot start:
Opportunity is one. You’ve got to be ready for your opportunity in life when it comes along. It’s like any job. It’s great to get the job, but you’ve got to be able to do the job. Obviously, this three years previous and the work he’s put in and how much stronger he’s gotten and more poised he’s gotten. He’s taken advantage of it.
You’ve got to give him credit. He’s scoring at an unbelievable rate, but he’s physical and he’s fast and he’s tenacious. That line has been good. They were playing against good players tonight and he was good.
On Auston Matthews having two points in every game so far:
What I liked about Auston tonight is that he played head to head against Kopitar and was really good. We’re blessed to have a guy who can play with and without it. With that size and now with his skating the way it is, he is a real player. He’s just grown. He’s just a kid and he’s going to get better. He’s dangerous when he is on the ice and that line is a good line right now.
We are fortunate that we appear to have quite a bit of depth. We are still kind of evolving and figuring out how to play everybody, but I think we are going in the right direction.
On Zach Hyman’s play leading to the Marner goal:
He’s a good player. I say it all the time — intelligent player. I don’t know where he was… I think he was fourth on our team last year in 5-on-5 scoring. He doesn’t get to play on the power play. I don’t know where he is this year on it, but he generates good offense and forecheck and heavy play. That line wasn’t heavy enough tonight. They didn’t spin around in the o-zone like they normally do, but they were still effective.
On the difference between Sparks’ first game and second game performances:
I don’t know. The puck hit him.
On the team’s penalty killing success:
I just think that our penalty kill… I think DJ does a nice job. We’ve got good scheme. We’ve got good players. Lindholm coming now gives us another elite penalty killer and a real good mind; real smart, so that helps out as well. Tavares can take draws for us. I don’t even know if I used Mitch on the penalty kill tonight or not, to tell you the truth. We probably didn’t because he was in the box all the time.