Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, dropping the Leafs’ record to 9-9-4 on the season.
On whether it’s been more difficult for the team to play sound defense because they’ve always been chasing the game from behind:
I mean, you could say that. We weren’t chasing the game… I thought we were good until they scored, and then they took over and they were way better than us. They had the puck. They skated by us. Sometimes when you are pushing at the end of the game, it’s a different thing. There is no reason for us to look the way we did tonight. They played last night. We played last night. They’ve got some injuries. We’ve got some injuries. Level playing field. The bottom line is they were better than us.
On where it’s going wrong:
I would like to think, over the last two nights prior to tonight, that we were taking a step. I thought we were going in the right direction and looking right, and then today, obviously, we need to regroup because that’s not good enough. We didn’t play hard enough for long enough. In the end, as an athlete, you put on your sweater and you want to be proud of how hard you compete and how hard you play for one another. We didn’t look after that. We have to take a look at each other and get this fixed, obviously. No one on the outside is going to fix it. We’ve got to fix it.
On the limited roster options right now:
Even our lines, we can move them around and we did a bit tonight. We moved our D pairs around tonight. The bottom line is we are all family in there. We’ve got to take a look at each other — hard — and we’ve all got to do a better job. The coach, the players, all of us — we’ve got to be way better.
On what the team needs to do to fix it:
That’s a good question. We are going to get on that flight — it’s four and a half hours, if I’m not mistaken — and by the time I am off, I’ll probably have some answers. The reality is and the number one thing is we’ve got to play harder and for longer. As soon as something goes bad, you can’t stop playing. For every one of us in our lives, things go bad. Dig in.