Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 5-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night, dropping the Leafs’ record to 9-6-4 on the season.
On the team’s awful start:
We didn’t start very good, obviously. They shot it in our net. We thought we competed way earlier in the third, but in the end, we didn’t compete good enough to win. We had lots of chances. Their goalie was real solid. He made lots of saves. In saying that, though, the first ten minutes of the game weren’t good enough. You spend the whole night battling and we’re right there. We were right there for our opportunity at the end, but in the end, you leave disappointed. It is not always going to go your way every night, but you want to start better.
On his level of trust in Michael Hutchinson at this point:
I think the big thing you do always after a game: Instead of commenting on a whole bunch, I always try to watch the game and see where it is at and go through every situation. There were a couple — on the power play goal — where we left the net. There was another one where we left the net. That was on us and not on the goaltender, but we’ll have a look at it.
On William Nylander’s quote about wanting to step up with Mitch Marner out for a minimum of four weeks:
I thought they were dominant. I thought Kane’s line was dominant and I thought they were dominant. I played them way too much, but they were dominant and they played well, those guys.
On Nylander’s hot play lately:
I just think he is battling way harder so he has the puck way more. You end up with more shots, and then you score a bit, and then you get more confidence. Now you’re hitting your spot and you take the time you need to hit your spot.
On the team’s performance in back-to-back situations (0-4-1):
We haven’t done a good enough job this year. That was our fifth one this year and obviously, we are 0-5 in these games. We’ve got one point, if I am not mistaken. We’ve got  back-to-backs this year. You’ve got to get points. You’ve got to play well. You’ve got to leave the rink feeling good. We’ve been on a real good run here feeling good about ourselves and starting to get our swagger back, and then obviously, we’ve got to get regrouped after today.
On his reaction to the news Marner is out at a minimum of four weeks:
No different than last night. I talked to Mitch a few times here today. Really disappointed for Mitch and disappointed for our hockey team. In saying that, someone else is going to get an opportunity. As a coach, we’re going to have to figure it out. We’ve got to get our lines… I mean, we had a different line for each period. We’ve got to get our lines right to maximize the group we have and get the right people in the right spots. That will give us a day tomorrow to figure that out and then we get back at her.
On whether the team will get Zach Hyman back for next game:
I thought we’d have Hyman back for a while, though. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I think we are optimistic that he’ll get going. Now, it’s probably not going to be the Hyman we all know. Reasonably speaking, that is probably unfair. But we’d like to get him back, obviously.