BLUES 3, MAPLE LEAFS 2 “We’ve just got to keep grinding away and keep getting better.”-Mike Babcock.


HEAD COACH MIKE BABCOCK

On tonight’s game:

I thought it was a good game. They’ve got a real good team, I think we’ve got a good team. I thought there wasn’t much to pick, I thought we had real good chances. In the end, though, good teams find a way to win. The game is right there on the line going into the third period and they found a way to get one and we didn’t. We had good chances but didn’t. They made a play, they got a nice little pick there and then one seam where we had five guys inside, we should have had it sorted out, but we didn’t. In the end, that’s what good teams do. You get a swagger about you; you know you’re going to win and you find a way to win.

On what he’s learned about the team after four games in six nights:

I liked us every night except the night on the back-to-back there – the 3-in-4, I didn’t think we were very good. We have a chance to get a lot better, obviously. I liked [Sandin] tonight. That’s the first time he’s kind of – I don’t know how many minutes he played, but I thought he was impressive. I didn’t think he got rattled, I thought he was good, so that’s positive. I think Kerfoot is getting better. We’ve just got to keep grinding away and keep getting better.

On Nylander’s performance tonight:

That was his best, by far. He had the puck, he got the puck, he got it back, he made things happen. I thought it was his most competitive game this year. It’d be one we’d like to see, obviously, on a regular basis. He has all the ability. He had turn-backs, he won pucks, he was on the puck, he was strong. I thought he was very effective tonight.

On the play of the fourth line tonight:

Obviously, our third line was our best line two nights ago and then this line was alright tonight. We’ll have a look at it here tomorrow and kind of see. We’ve rotated back and forth now for four games. Are we going to do it for two more or is this now, you know, the National Hockey League and the best guys play?

On if the Tavares line needs to continue to adjust without Hyman:

Hyman’s good, eh? We’ve just got to figure it out over time because we need them to be dominant, as you know. Everyone’s just got to figure it out and keep working and grinding.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (27 SAVES)

On tonight’s performance:

Tonight I thought we played pretty good. I think we had good moments in the game and, unfortunately, it didn’t go our way.

On what he saw on Pietrangelo’s game-winner:

He kind of snuck down pretty far out of my field of vision and obviously got a shot just over the pad that snuck underneath my arm. Unfortunately, that’s it.

WILLIAM NYLANDER (1 GOAL)

On tonight’s game:

I think we played pretty well. We were able to create a lot of chances. I think we played pretty solid without the puck too so we just have to take the positives and build off that.

On his goal in the second period:

I just got the puck from Ceci who made a great pass and just cut it and had an open net and put it in there. It was nothing more than that.

On facing the defending champions:

I think it was a tight game and a good measurement for us to see how we match up against a team like that.

On how he thinks they played against St. Louis:

I think we played pretty well actually but, in the end, we have to bury our chances and keep the puck out of our own net. But, I think it was a pretty good game.

On the team forcing turnovers off the forecheck:

We’re hungry, we’re skating. That’s how we want to play.

JASON SPEZZA (1 ASSIST)

On St. Louis as an opponent:

They’re the champs, they’re a very patient team. They play a very disciplined game. I thought we did too, for the most part. I thought when it got away from us maybe we didn’t get pucks deep as much as we need to. For the most part we hung with them all night and a bounce here or there could have been a different story tonight.

On if there are positives to come from tonight’s game:

I think so. It’s disappointing to lose that, it’s one of we’d like to have won here at home against that team. We’re going to learn from the games that we’ve lost and look at them. There’s things to build off of, for sure. There were times when we really controlled play out there tonight and if we can bottle that we can become a better team.

JOHN TAVARES (20:29 TOI)

On if that was the type of game they expected from the defending champions:

Yeah, absolutely. they obviously did it last year and have shown they know how to win. They’re a patient team and I think, overall, we did a pretty good job ourselves, we just didn’t make enough plays in the third and they had the one that resulted in the victory for them.

On what he liked from his team tonight:

I liked our start and the way we came out, we were tracked the puck and getting in on the forecheck. We had some good shifts in the offensive zone, protecting well and moving our feet and getting second and third opportunities. Those gave us good stretches of puck possession and offensive zone time. They’re a big team, especially on the back end. We’ve just got to continue to be a little more consistent in getting to the middle of the ice and to the front of the net.