Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 4-1 win over Columns in the first road game of the 2019-20 season.
On Frederik Andersen helping the team weather the storm early:
Any time you come out on the road, you know you’re going to have to weather the first ten and then do good things. I thought we did a good job of that and got through that. I thought we got playing pretty good and then when we went ahead 2-0, we got carried away and turned the puck over a number of times. We gave them the one goal there and they got some momentum. I thought we got ourselves reset between the second and third and came out and played well.
On the Leafs‘ power play (2 for 5):
You want it to be real dangerous. We have good people on it and good scheme. I thought [Johnsson] did a really good job tonight taking the goalie’s eyes, which really helped on two of the goals. One wasn’t a power play, but on two of the goals. That’s a big part of it, too, but obviously, you want to have success on your specialty teams.
On the fourth line winning the draw before the Cody Ceci goal, drawing a penalty, and Spezza’s overall play:
We kind of had Kerf’s line came out there and then Spezza’s line… Their center was out there for a minute thirty, so it was kind of back-to-back-to-back there, which was real good job.
I thought Spezza was real good. I thought he was really happy to be doing what he is doing. He was great on the bench. He was great on the ice. He was good in the room. I thought he did a good job for us, so good for him. We are going to go right back to where we were tomorrow and give those guys another opportunity, and then come back again the following day.
On Spezza taking draws on the PK:
That’s his job, yeah, basically. We do the same with Goat on the other side at the start and we play them later in the penalty kill. We’ve got some real good penalty killers, obviously. Mikheyev is going to be a real good one. When you put in the other guys with Mitchy and Mooresy and Kapanen, those are real good guys. We want them out there first, but we need someone to get the draw.
I thought he did a good job of that. He got caught out the one time; I actually put him out at the end and probably screwed him a bit. He was out of his eyelids when he got back to the bench and I asked him if he could take the faceoff. He said, “For sure,” and didn’t win it. They seamed him and he got running around a little bit, but that’s part of it. I was impressed with him tonight. I was impressed that he was happy to do what we needed him to do.
On the goaltending decision for tomorrow: