Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 4-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night, dropping Leafs’ record to 9-10-4 with their sixth straight loss.
On the team’s effort level:
I thought we played a good first. I thought we didn’t win any faceoffs in the second and spent more time in d-zone. We had lots of chances. I was in here the other night and Fleury was real good. I thought he was real good [tonight]. We had some chances and had some posts. I thought Petan — I haven’t seen the replay, but I thought the net was empty there when Fleury made a big save on him.
The bottom line is we’ve got to stay with it and just keep grinding. We had a chance on the power play there at the end and we didn’t execute on that, so it is disappointing. I am always about the process and how hard guys play. We played way harder. I thought that was good. I thought Hyman was back. I thought Mikheyev really had a good step. That was positive for us.
On the atrocious penalty kill:
We’ve got to keep it out. I didn’t think we were that bad tonight on it, to tell you the truth, but they got two on it. That’s not good enough. We’ve just got to keep working at it and spend more time at it. Maybe earlier in the year when we didn’t skate as much in the pre-game skates, we should’ve spent more time doing it. We did that kind of because we were trying to keep our guys fresher for the science part of it, but in the end, you’ve got to execute on those things. That’s on me.
On the team giving up the 2-1 goal immediately after tying the game:
It is disappointing. Obviously, we turned the puck over, right? They came right in and shot it in. I still thought we were resilient. We talked about it before the game. We have to show mental toughness and just keep grinding shift after shift whether it goes good or bad. We’ve been guilty of when it goes bad — when they score — we wilt. There is no sense doing that. Just keep playing. I’ve been around a long time and been in lots of situations where you don’t win for a while and you end up having a real good year. Just keep grinding.