Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.
On the impact of the fourth line:
We obviously had a tough start. It was good. I thought Moore really brought energy. That group played with a lot of pace here tonight and helped us a lot. In the end, they were responsible for two goals. That is a real good thing.
On the outcome of the trade deadline:
I just think what you do every year as a management team is…. No one on the outside ever knows what really goes on. What you do is you do everything you can to help your team. In the end, you make the best decisions you possibly can to help your club. You’ve obviously got to weigh the cost of what you’re doing. We are ecstatic to have the opportunity that we have. We like our team. We still think there is a ton of growth from within. We think we can play a lot better. We look forward to that.
I think Moore can really help our hockey club. I don’t know if the Petan kid is good, but we’re excited to have him and see what he can do, and the group we have from within. But we really feel we can play a lot better and l look forward to the opportunity to show that.
On Frederik Gauthier sticking as the 4C for the rest of the season and the growth left in his game:
We are going to find out now because you get an opportunity and it’s got to be every night. Freddy has got to become a good face-off guy for us and penalty killer. He’s got to be a guy you can put on in the defensive zone and not worry about who the other team is coming with. That is important. Obviously, he has come a long way in the three or four years, whatever he’s been around, but he’s got a long way to go. As long as he competes, he’s a big man. He’s usually on the defensive side of the puck. We are trying to get as much speed as we can around him because that is important for him. And we’ll go from there.
On whether the ‘heaviness’ that didn’t arrive at the trade deadline needs to come internally:
There are two parts. Zach Hyman — we’d like to have one on each line, but they just don’t make them like that. I think Little John has come a long way in that area. We need Kappy to do more of that. But we have a lot of guys. Willy can really cycle the puck and he has to commit to doing it. Matthews is way more physical on offense than he used to be. That is important as well. We just need to continue to grow that throughout the group.
Moore, for the size of him, has got a heavy keister and hangs onto the puck pretty good there. We need more of that.
On Frederik Andersen taking on a leadership role for the team:
I went to the Worlds last year and met with Freddy and his mom and dad and his family there. We talked a ton about that. Leadership has nothing to do with what you say. I really believe that. It has to do with what you do and how you are every day; how hard you compete and how mentally tough you are as a goaltender. That is the challenge for him every day. In the end, your goaltender has to be one of your best players if not your best to have success in the end. That’s the challenge for him and he’s excited about the opportunity.