Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 4-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, the Leafs’ seventh loss in their last 10 games and six in their last seven home games.
On the team’s performance:
I thought we played hard. We had the puck a lot. I didn’t think we had a lot of puck luck, to be honest with you. We had a lot of attempts. The puck is lying there. We never got it to the net as much as we could’ve off those kinds of rebounds and pucks laying there. But I liked a lot of the things that we did. It appeared to me — I haven’t watched the game — but it appeared to me that we had the puck a ton and in the end, we didn’t win the game. You’re going to have some of those. The biggest thing is… I liked our game in Tampa. I didn’t think we had enough energy against Florida. I liked our energy here today. Just keep grinding. We’ll work our way out of it.
On whether the team should be playing with more urgency:
I thought we had pretty good urgency tonight. We had the puck a ton. The puck didn’t go in for us. I thought they blocked a ton of shots. I thought they did lots of good things. They stayed inside. In saying that, you can always want more. But I thought we stayed the course. I didn’t think we gave up that much. I thought we did a pretty good job.
On Travis Dermott’s performance stepping up onto the second pair with Jake Gardiner out injured:
I thought it was good. I mean, I’d have liked to have Jake because we would’ve had a lot more plays. The more plays you can have from the back, the more chances you can have for clean looks offensively. I don’t know if it’s been a week or 10 days or whatever, he’s had these back spasms. He’s been able to play through it. When he got on a plane two nights ago or whatever it was, … He tried this morning, but couldn’t do it.
On Andreas Johnsson’s status after leaving the game injured:
They just told me that he is not going to be available for next game. I don’t know exactly what it is, but he’s not going to be available for next game, so we’ll have to get Moore in here.
On William Nylander’s play on the fourth line:
I thought the fourth line… That’s two games in a row where Lindholm’s been at the net when they scored. I thought they were good. They were good on the penalty kill when they were used that way. Obviously, we didn’t have… We only had 11 forwards in the third period, but I thought they were effective.
On Auston Matthews’ lack of puck luck lately:
I thought his game in Tampa and I thought his game today were good. I thought he skated and he moved. To me, the rest of it, when you do good things, good things happen. Sometimes, in the mean time, when it is not going your way, you can get in your own way, though. Just work.
On Gardiner’s status for Wednesday’s game vs. Washington:
I don’t know the answer to that question. He is not going to practice tomorrow. We’ll have another practice today before we play Washington, so we’ll know more at that time.