Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 2-1 Game 5 win over the Boston Bruins to take a 3-2 series lead back to Toronto.
On the team coming to play in a huge Game 5 on the road:
I think we come to play most every night, to be honest with you. That is how you become a good team in the league. We’re playing a really good team and I thought we played well tonight defensively. The ice was tough. It was humid in the building and the ice was tough. I thought our guys just kept grinding and stayed patient and didn’t get in our own way. In the end, we had good goaltending, good special teams, and won a game.
On his level of concern about the Auston Matthews 1-0 goal review:
I didn’t know because you know how things are. You don’t know. You never know. Obviously, it was a good goal. It was a good play. We scored a good goal. It’s nice when it counts, but you’ve got to be ready if it doesn’t go your way. That’s what we talked about — let’s get ready for the next shift and let’s be ready to go.
On the improvement in Matthews’ 200-foot game:
I thought tonight, in particular, was his best 200-footer of the playoffs. He was outstanding. He was involved in so many breakouts. He was there and available for the D. On that goal that Kappy scores, he’s right there for the D on the play coming out of the D-zone.
People just think because you are a good player that you know how to do that. You don’t know how to do that because you didn’t have to when you were a kid. You have to learn how to do that and then you’ve got to learn how to do it tonight. For John him and everybody, #37 is a real player. #63 is as well as and is with him. I thought he played great. I was impressed with him and proud for him. He should feel good about himself.
On Kasperi Kapanen scoring another big playoff goal:
If you go through his life, he has found a way to score big goals in his life. Kappy has got a swagger about him. He’s got some confidence. It’s real important. It doesn’t matter who you are. At times, when it isn’t going good for you, you question yourself a little bit. That is what the NHL is about. It takes your confidence away at times. You just keep grinding. I thought he was great tonight.
On what he will stress for Game 6 in Toronto on Sunday:
I will watch the tape and then I’ll decide. Obviously, the hardest game to win is the fourth game to put the other team out, especially a proud group of guys. It is something that we haven’t been able to do in the last three years ago. I don’t think we even should’ve been in the playoffs two or three years ago, but we got there. Now it is the process of learning how to do this. That is all a part of growing the group. It isn’t easy, as you can see in the league. It’s not easy. We will get prepared to really push them.
On Jake Muzzin’s wife having a baby the day before and then playing a great game:
I thought he was great. I was talking to his bride the other night there and she was just matter of fact. “We’re having a baby. He’ll be there on time and he’ll be ready to play.” She’s got family around her. It’s great. Now, obviously, he is a big part of our team. I thought he and Z were real strong for us here tonight. They got a tough matchup and did a good job. They welcomed their daughter to the world and good for them.
On Frederik Andersen’s rebound performance after Game 4:
I didn’t think there were a lot of chances for a lot of game but he was real solid on his chances and had a real bounce-back from the other night. Even though we are a team, you don’t want to give up lots of goals as a goalie and this was a good night for him. I thought he made some good saves.