Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 4-0 loss to the Nashville Predators on Monday night.
On the team’s performance:
I didn’t mind us through two. In saying that, they were up 2-0 and they had blocked lots of shots and kept the puck from the net, and we’d find a way to get out of the lane. I thought we got a lesson from a veteran team here today.
Really, in the third period in particular, I don’t know if we thought we were just going to come out and race around. They just stayed patient and did it right. I thought they were heavy on the puck, heavy on their sticks, detailed, and they competed.
I liked their game. I liked our game through two. I thought we were in a good spot to crawl our way back. I thought if we worked hard, we’d get a power play. I liked our second. We didn’t get the puck to the net enough; had opportunity to and didn’t.
In the third period, it was just men and boys. You’ve got to understand you’ve got to be patient. You can’t just race around. You’ve got to play the game right. If you do, you’ll get rewarded.
I like their team tonight. Their faceoff circle — I think we were 3-15 in the first period. I thought they were dialed in. I thought their players were playing a real game and it was a competitive game. We didn’t hold our end up through 60.
On the team’s struggles on the power play:
It wasn’t good enough. I mean, Matty had the wide open net. If you get one, everyone thinks it’s great. You didn’t shoot it in the empty net, but I still didn’t think both our plan and execution were good enough. I thought we got in easier than we thought. I thought the faceoff circle could’ve helped us. But we weren’t dangerous enough through the two minutes of the power play.
I thought last game we had good opportunity on it. I think it’s been hit and miss and hasn’t been good enough. With the players we have, it can be better. We’ve got to do a better job.
On William Nylander’s play in the game:
I thought that line, in the first two periods, was not bad. He has got to get better. All of the details, all of the compete, all of that stuff — you’ve just got to keep getting better. He will the more he plays. The urgency level has to be there for sure.
On the decision to move Patrick Marleau onto the John Tavares line and Connor Brown onto the Nazem Kadri line:
We just flipped Brown and him. We made some changes in the third because, obviously, we weren’t getting anything done. We’ll just continue to look at it and see who fits best with who. I’m pretty sure Hyman is cleared for next game, so that’ll affect where everyone plays.