Mike Babcock addressed the media after the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Monday night, dropping the team’s record to 2-1-1 on the season.


On his thoughts on his team’s overall performance vs. the Cup champs:

I thought it was a good game. They’ve got a real good team. I think we’ve got a good team. I thought there wasn’t much to pick. I thought we had real good chances. In the end, though, good teams find a way to win. The game is right there on the line going into the third period and they found a way to get one and we didn’t. We had good chances but didn’t. They made a play. They had a nice little pick there. We got seamed there with five guys inside. We should’ve had it sorted out there and we didn’t. In the end, that is what good teams do. You get a swagger about you. You know you’re going to win. You find a way to win.

On his impressions through four games (2-1-1):

I’ve liked us every night except the night on the back-to-back there — the three in four. I didn’t think we were very good. We have a chance to get a lot better, obviously.

I liked Sandman tonight. That’s the first time he’s had… I don’t know many minutes he played, but I thought he was impressive. I didn’t think he got rattled. I thought he was good. That’s positive.

I think Kerfoot is getting better. We’ve just got to keep grinding away and just keep getting better.

On William Nylander’s performance:

That was his best — by far. He had the puck. He got the puck. He got it back. He made things happen. I thought it was his most competitive game this year. It’d be one we’d like to see, obviously, on a regular basis. He has all the ability. He had turnbacks. He won pucks. He was on the puck. He was strong. I thought he was really effective tonight.

On the fourth line chipping in offensively:

For sure. Obviously, the third line was our best line two nights ago. This line was alright tonight. We’ll have a look at it here tomorrow and kind of see. We’ve rotated back and forth now for four games. Are we going to do it for two more? Or is this now the NHL and the best guys play?

On the Tavares line missing Zach Hyman:

Hyman is good, eh?

We’ve just got to figure it out over time because we need them to be dominant, as you know. Everyone has just got to figure it out and keep working and grinding.