Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night, dropping the Leafs’ record to 6-5-2 on the season.
On the team’s slow start and finding their way into the game:
I didn’t think we were very competitive. I thought we were really competitive and got the game going in the second. We gave them three goals in the third. Anyway you look at it, we made mistakes and they just shot it in the net. We gifted them those three. It’s disappointing because we had crawled our way back and kind of had set the tone. An unfortunate one on the penalty kill there, obviously, off the faceoff at center. We thought we were in a good position. We didn’t have the puck and didn’t have a clear, and next thing we know it’s in our net.
On the team’s 0-3-1 record in back-to-backs:
The scariest thing about it… I could be wrong, but I think the three of them were right there. We go into the third period and we don’t get it done. The bottom line: I think the first one is different than the rest of these. We played a lot of hockey and all of that, but I don’t think you can talk about back-to-backs at this point in the season. The first week, it’s a different thing. Now, we’ve got to find ways to win these games.
On Michael Hutchinson’s performance:
He didn’t keep us in the second period but he kept us in the first period big time and gave us a chance. The other thing is, obviously he’s getting the start in the back-to-backs. I thought we were set up to get him a win here tonight. It is unfortunate for him because I thought his effort warranted better from us.
On the play of the Matthews’ line early in the game:
Not in the first, obviously. That’s the problem with being the best players. You draw the best matchup going into the opposition’s building and you’ve got to be ready to go. That is just the reality of the league and that is how it is. We weren’t as a group good enough in the first period.
On the team’s struggles in back-to-backs:
Obviously, there is a reason. Teams aren’t as good on back-to-backs, obviously. That is because you played. In saying all of that, to me, they’re on on your schedule, so what are you going to do about it? We just happen to be fortunate that we’ve had four in October.
On whether he has put any thought into the roster decisions coming up:
That is a great question. I haven’t had one second. We are just trying to win each night. We are not worried about that, obviously. Tavares has got to come back, too. To me, what it does is it gives you an opportunity to give all of these guys. These guys are getting great opportunity themselves. Rehearsal has been longer than probably we expected. We are going to have a way to make good decisions at the time when that happens.
On the benefit of a slower schedule this month:
Obviously, we haven’t practiced at all. That is a huge thing for us. If you don’t practice, you don’t skate. We need practicing. This will be a week where we get an opportunity to get ourselves back on track. We’ve got a big game against #Washington and obviously it is important to get out of the month of October with a win.