Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Friday night, dropping the team’s record to 9-8-4 on the season.
On the team being set up well going into the third and finding a way to lose again:
I thought we were doing lots of good things. In saying that, though, off the faceoff, we weren’t really gapped up. We were still in a good spot inside and they shot it in our net. I didn’t think we were as good in the third as we had been the rest of the game. They got ahead and they played right and made it hard on us.
I thought we played well. I thought it was a good hockey game. We had lots of good players up front. We carried play at times and they carried play at times. They’ve got good players. But we’re coming up short. You can say that through the game there were stretches where we were really good at times. We had the puck a lot, but you leave frustrated, or disappointed, I guess, is a better word.
You don’t like leaving the rink without two points, so it’s a matter of pulling together and digging in. We’ve got to find a way just to get ourselves a step better and get ourselves a win so we can get back on track here.
On the team giving up the first goal yet again:
I think the game was an even game. It’s not like they came out and shot it in your net or anything like that. You’re playing well. A couple of things happened. When you look at it, though — we went through it yesterday — now we’re 5-16. That’s a ton of behind. The team scores first in the league is winning at a .714 winning percentage. We did a little work on this.
We’ve been through it and we’ve talked about it. We know the urgency of playing right and doing things right, but it didn’t happen for us tonight. I didn’t think we started poorly or anything like that. I didn’t think we started poorly in the Island, either. But that doesn’t matter. You need to score first and feel good. The league shows you: Catch up hockey, you don’t win.
On Trevor Moore’s status after leaving the game hurt:
It looks like he is not coming on the trip tomorrow. We’ll put Timashov in and figure out our lineup and get our lines organized the best way we can to give ourselves a chance. We’re fortunate Pittsburgh played tonight. It’s a level playing field just like the last time we played in Chicago.
On whether the group is tight right now:
You’re obviously way looser when it goes great. That is how life is. But life isn’t always about that. Pull it together and dig in and do things right. We are going to get up. The sun is going to get up. We’re going to get after it tomorrow. I have no question in the group that we believe in one another and we’ll get it looked after.
On the strong play of Kasperi Kapanen:
They’re playing against good players, obviously. That is a good test for everybody. I thought Kappy has played well the last few games. I think that line has played well. Now, either team that got trapped in their own zone with one of those lines on, it was heavy going out there.
But I thought Kappy has done a good job for those guys. Hyman gets the puck and grinds and works. Kap scored a big goal. Tavares made a nice play. I thought he did a lot of good things without the puck and played with speed and pace.
On whether Zach Hyman looks better than he ever would’ve anticipated:
Better. I didn’t know, after an injury like that… You’ve seen our other guys come back. It’s a struggle. He is just that kind of guy — just working, working, working. Now this will be a test for him in a back-to-back when you haven’t played any hockey. In saying all of that, normally he is our best guy back-to-back just because of his conditioning and his drive train. We’ll see what he’s doing, but I like what he’s doing.
On whether Kasimir Kaskisuo is getting the nod in net tomorrow in Pittsburgh:
He gets his first NHL start. What an opportunity. I’d imagine he dreamt of this his whole life. We’ve got to do a good job early, but you hope he gets some shots early, too, and settles in and plays the best way he possibly can. We’ve got to look after him.