Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.
On the performance of the fourth line:
I thought Mitchy was really good. I thought he had real good jump. They were a real factor for us, obviously. I thought he had the best jump of anybody in the first. I didn’t think we were great in the first. We got a lot better as the game went on – more competitive and we skated better and got going. I thought we had a real good night out of Naz’s line.
I thought that line was good. I thought Matt Martin was a good player for us, too.
On Frederik Andersen shutting the door in the first:
I didn’t think they had golden chances. I thought they had lots of point shots. Freddie made the saves he needed to and he was steady. They broke out too easy in the first and we weren’t on them enough. As the game got on, we got better.
On Marner’s perfomance:
We need him to be a star and we think he’s a star. The NHL is a hard league when it doesn’t go your way. The other thing about the league is, when someone else gets in your spot and they play real good, it makes it hard for you. But I thought he was excellent tonight.
On Roman Polak’s play in his first game back:
I thought it was interesting that Roman was back tonight and Borgman had his best game. That goes together, having someone to talk to and help you out, too. I thought that was positive. Obviously, Polie hasn’t played so he’s going to take a bit here. We were comfortable. We had them out there one shift against Kopitar – just the way it worked out – and they were fine against them. I thought that was a good night for those guys.
On beating recent Cup winners in Chicago and Los Angeles:
I just think it’s good to win. When you drop the ball like we did the other night against Ottawa… I’m not taking anything away from Ottawa, but we were no good. When you do that, you want to be able to respond. I thought we responded tonight, but I also thought it was important knowing the team hadn’t lost and was playing well. Kopitar is playing real good. I thought it was a good matchup for us. I thought it was an important game to find a way to play right in.
On Marner responding well and not sulking after being moved to the fourth line:
I think that’s an important thing. We talked to him about that, too. It’s interesting – no one needs Mitch to be a star more than me, so I think that’s important. The other thing is you’ve got to earn your right to be a star. You’ve got to be what you’re capable of. He knows we’re all pulling for him, too. He wants to be great. He expects himself to be really good. Obviously, the better he plays, the better team we are. It was great to see him be excited and be loose again and feel good about himself.