Mike Babcock addressed the media after his club’s second win in as many nights over the Boston Bruins, extending the team’s winning streak to four games.
On the value of goaltending and special teams in the win:
I thought it was a good win for us. Obviously, scoring first was good. We were able just to be patient and to not get in a rush. The Bozak line scored again, which is real positive for us. James has kind of caught fire, which is good. Obviously, the 5-on-3 penalty kill was huge in the game, to say the least. [McElhinney] did a good job as well. It’s a good week for our team. To get four wins in a week is a good week. Good for us.
On Mitch Marner breaking out of his funk in a big way:
I think he’s been good here the last while. He was good before he started getting results, but that’s the way it usually goes. You don’t get results right away. You’ve got to work hard and compete hard. As they’ve gotten to work, they’ve gotten more and more results. That was a real good line for us last year. Ideally, it’ll be a real good line for us this year.
On the performance of the blue line against the Bruins’ forechecking pressure:
I thought we did lots of good things. They came hard. We knew they would. They have a good record at home. And yet, when you have the lead, it’s a different kind of game. You can just kind of be efficient. I thought we did a good job of clogging it up inside most of the time and limiting their shots more from the outside. [McElhinney] was able to make good saves.
On the 5-on-3 penalty kill in the third period:
I thought the guys did a real good job in that area, obviously. They played their big line lots and they played lots last night. So, as the game goes on and you’re playing guys, it’s hard. Both teams were probably a little fatigued and that affects, probably, the power play more than the penalty kill.
On Curtis McElhinney’s bounce-back performance after his last outing vs. LA:
Well, yeah, but if you look at it, I think he’s 2-0, if I’m not mistaken, and he’s played really well in both games. He’s a real good pro. He does it right every day. He supports Freddie. He’s a good teammate. He works hard. So we’re happy for him.
On Morgan Rielly’s hot streak offensively:
I thought those guys on the backend — him, Zaits, obviously Gards — are real good players for us. They’re competitive each and every night. He’s getting it done on the power play. But when you think of it, the opportunity for Zaitsev and Hainsey and what they’re doing for us on the penalty kill and defensively, is unbelievable, too.
On the upcoming four-day break and possibly getting Auston Matthews back afterwards:
I don’t know exactly. He’s day-to-day. We’ll see what goes on there. I think it’s good for our team to get a day off. We’re going to practice, take another day off, and practice again. We’ll get our guys freshened up so we can skate good again.