Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 5-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, improving the Leafs’ record to 9-5-0 and 6-0-0 on the road.
On the 60-minute effort:
It was a good game for us tonight. We started good. Tavares’ line and Naz’s line were both dominant and played real well. We were able to score first, which is important and we haven’t done it enough this year so that we aren’t chasing the game. I thought everyone contributed. It was a good game for our team.
On the penalty kill killing all five Pittsburgh power plays:
It hasn’t been as effective as we’d like it to be. We haven’t been able to clear the puck very good this year. We have been scored on so many times when we’ve failed to clear. We were able to do a good job tonight.
I think DJ [Smith] does a real good job with it. It hasn’t showed in the results so far this year. We want to be a good penalty-killing team and we’ve got good people. That’ll round itself into shape.
On Mitch Marner’s play over 200 feet tonight:
Mitch is a good player for us. I thought that line was really, really good for us. Mitch is a good player with or without the puck. The best he plays — I say this all the time — is when he’s really good defensively — then he has the puck all the time — and he was to tonight.
On Zach Hyman breaking his goalless slump to start the season:
He should’ve had a couple. I don’t worry too much about it. He does good things every game. The one thing about Zach is that he’s not like a lot of people. His confidence doesn’t come and go. He just does the right thing every day. He’s not really affected by the results.
But it is good for any player. No one likes to go long without scoring, so good for him.
On whether the team did a better job of getting to the hard areas of the ice:
Yeah, I thought we got to the net for sure. In saying that, though, we did last game, too. Last game, when you look at it, we should’ve found a way to win that game. We had lots of opportunity and should’ve won, but we didn’t. But sometimes you win games you shouldn’t, so just do good things and good things happen.
On Morgan Rielly’s two-goal performance:
I thought Morgan was really good defensively today. He is always good offensively, but sometimes not quite as good [defensively]. Tonight, he was really good defensively and really committed and dialled in.
There is no one who likes being a Leaf more on our team than Morgan. He provides leadership that way. He’s got unbelievable enthusiasm every day and a zest for life. He shares that for the guys. You need energy people and he is one of those.
On Frederik Andersen’s consistent play:
I thought our team did a real good job for him, and yet, when he was called upon, he did a nice job. Good for him. I thought he played well the other night, but their goalie was good. It’s nice to be rewarded when you play good.
On whether he’s happy with the team’s road form:
Yeah. I am happy with what we are seeing from our team most nights, to be honest with you. We’ve had a couple nights that haven’t gone as good. What I like to do is just be steady on the rudder. The season always has these little ebbs and flows. You enjoy it when it’s going good and you enjoy the duress when it’s not. How’s that?