Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, improving the Leafs’ record to 4-2-1 on the season.
On the team coming up with a response in the second period:
Well, we had to, obviously. We weren’t as good as we’d like to be in the first. I din’t think we gave up much, to be honest with you, until they got on the power play, but I still didn’t think we were as sharp or good as we needed to be. You always want to be good at home, especially. Starting on time is important. We’ve got to do a better job.
On the decision to swap Trevor Moore and Kasperi Kapanen:
I’ve just been watching it. No one seemed to be going. We just tried it and it seemed to be okay, so we just stayed with it.
On the team’s second period:
The first 15 minutes of that second period was real good. They played last night, so you know what I mean? Or yesterday. In saying all of that, it was a good 15 minutes for us. We played right. It was good.
On Morgan Rielly’s four-assist night:
I understand he tied a record or something like that, so good for him. He’s a good player. He’s much better defensively and has always been good offensively. It’s important that he has good nights and feels good about himself. Any time your good players score and generate offense — that’s what they like to do — and get feeling good, your team is better.
On his ability to recruit and communicate with Ilya Mikheyev despite the language barrier:
I talked to him all year. You’re basically talking by text more than anything else. When you talk to a guy that much — WhatsApp, or whatever you call it — you’re bound to have some communication. In the end, Miky’s understanding of the English language is fantastic anyway. He’s a very educated guy. I’ve said this a number of times: His gal went to Boston College on visitation or whatever. He’s been around it a lot, so he is way ahead of most guys.
On whether he will rotate in new bodies on the fourth line for the back-to-back tomorrow in Washington:
I don’t know what we are going to do yet. We will get on the plane. That is the good thing about it. We’ll decide and break down the whole game. By the time we land, we’ll have a plan for tomorrow. Obviously, that is two nights in a row where our fourth line has been really good for us.