Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
On Patrick Marleau’s impact since returning from the break:
I thought he’s really skated good since he came back from the break. I didn’t think many of us skated great last night. I thought he was one of the guys who really did. I thought he skated real well tonight. He was real good in the faceoff circle tonight. Took a lot of faceoffs for Matthews, so that was real positive. Obviously, he is a real leader. It’s well documented on our team. He’s a good man.
On Garret Sparks settling in after the early 2-0 deficit:
Obviously, when it got 2-0 and they’ve blown two by you, it’s easy to get a little bit rattled. I didn’t think he did at all. I thought our team, at that point, we were really playing well. I thought we had the puck a lot and we were just down 2-0. We just stayed the course and were able to get it done.
On the pregame ceremony:
It was pretty cool, wasn’t it? It was emotional just watching. I don’t have any military people in my family, so I don’t know much about it, but it’s pretty special when you’ve got two little kids out there and you get to see your dad walk out. Obviously, just the reaction of his wife… I don’t know, I thought it was really cool.
On the way the team handled the Crosby matchup:
I thought we had a real good matchup. Tavares, obviously, with Hyman and Mitchy were dialed in and really skating. Obviously, with Muzz and Mo on the back, we had a good fivesome. Dumoulin and Letang played with those guys, so it was good hockey when those guys were on the ice. That is 10 really good hockey players. We were fortunate that we were able to keep on top of them and keep it out for the most part.
On how Jake Muzzin is settling into the team:
I don’t know where he is going to play. We’ll figure that out over time. We’ll get it so that we have the best pairs. Suddenly, we are way deeper. I thought Dermott had one of his best games, too, playing with Hainsey talking to him and helping him. I think Ron can really do that for you, so suddenly we are way deeper on the back.
On Muzzin and Rielly sorting out the sides of the ice:
Yeah, for sure. On o-zone faceoffs and stuff like that, we always want Mo nearest to the puck, so they are going to have a lot where they either side. Just over time, they’ll figure it out, just the two of them, obviously. We’ll just watch as it goes on. Sometimes your best plans don’t work out like that. We’ll just see what suits the hockey club the best.
On Muzzin’s big hit on Jake Guentzel:
Muzz is a big man and he is not flashy but he is intelligent. He’s calm. He’s got real good puck skill. He’s got a good shot. But he’s a big body and plays really hard between the whistles. We don’t have enough of that, so that gives us another guy that can do that.
On Martin Marincin going on waivers:
Obviously, he’s been with our organization for a long time and is a real good man. You always hope the best for those guys.
On whether Tyler Ennis is nearing a return:
I don’t know exactly the timeline on that. I know he skated real well today in his testing. As far as coming back, they always tell you, “I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready,” but that doesn’t mean they’ve got a get-out-of-jail-free card yet.