PENGUINS 6, LEAFS 1 POSTGAME QUOTES: “Yeah, it’s up to us obviously to stop the bleeding. It’s unacceptable, the way we played tonight. The way we went out there and played obviously isn’t close to our standard and our expectation and what we need to do to get the results we want.” — JOHN TAVARES

HEAD COACH MIKE BABCOCK

On if the team scoring first could lead to better defensive hockey:

You could say that, but 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. I think sometimes when you’re pushing at the end of a game, it’s a different thing. There was 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. A level playing field. The bottom line is they were better than us.

On what led to tonight’s letdown:

I don’t know. I would like to think over the last two nights prior to tonight that we were taking a step. I really thought we were going in the right direction, looking right. Then today, obviously we need a regroup, because that’s not good enough. We didn’t play hard enough for long enough and, 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 outside is going to fix it, we’ve got to fix it.

On injuries limiting options for tweaks to the lineup:

No, and even our lines, we can move them around — we did a bit tonight, we moved our D pairs around tonight — the bottom line is we’re 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 how they fix things moving forward:

That’s a good question. When we get on that flight, I think we’re going four-and-a-half hours, by the time I’m off I’ll probably have some answers. The reality is the number one thing is we’ve got to play harder and for longer and as soon as something goes bad, we can’t stop playing. You push through it. Every one of us in our life, there’s things that go bad. Dig in.

KASIMIR KASKISUO (NHL DEBUT)

On how he managed the adrenaline in his first NHL game:

Definitely didn’t feel tired all game, just kind of riding that high. It was nice to get a lot of shots and a lot of tough chances. I didn’t really know what to expect and don’t really have a reference point, so of course there was a lot of good and some things to work on.

On teammates giving him a tap on the pads after two periods:

It means a lot. I feel like they battled for me but things just didn’t work out today. Of course, it’s kind of emotional and crazy playing in your first game with how things go. It’s good to have their support and know they’re going to battle for you until the end.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (17:08 TOI)

On where the team goes from here:

It’s tough to get worse from here. It’s frustrating. I think in the locker room, confidence isn’t exactly high right now. I don’t think we’ve played to the ability that we’re capable of over the last course of games. We’ve got nobody to blame except for ourselves. It’s really up to us.

On if it’s frustrating to lose to other teams who are also going through injury issues:

Well, it’s the NHL. Guys are going to get injured. Teams are built to have depth. Teams are built to have guys that can come in, step in. They have that, we have that. We’re just not showing it right now.

On if there’s one particular aspect of tonight’s game that he didn’t like:

I can’t really pinpoint one exact thing, no.

On how the team can rebuild its confidence:

Just playing better. Being better in all aspects of the game. Lifting each other up. Holding each other accountable and going from there. We’re 22 games into the season. These points start to matter. We can’t just say, ‘It’s just one game. We’ll get it next time.’ It’s been repetitive and for us, we want to make sure it stops now and we want to get back on track.

MORGAN RIELLY (19:56 TOI)

On how the team can turn things around:

When things aren’t going your way you’ve just got to dig in and work harder, focus on the details more, put more time in, more effort. I think that’s what we’ve got to do. Obviously, we’ve got a road trip coming up and its very important that we take care of business a little bit, kind of refocus and make sure we dig in and put the work in in the upcoming days. 

On what he saw in the second period from his vantage point:

It was kind of what we’ve talked about before — playing decent hockey, creating opportunities and just kind of ending up in a position where we’re chasing the game a little bit and then it gets away from us. Obviously, we want to change that, in terms of playing from behind. We want to come out and play at our pace, play our game and not have to chase the game like we have been. That’s something we have to change.

JOHN TAVARES (4 SHOTS ON GOAL)

On if the entire team needs to be accountable:

Yeah, it’s up to us obviously to stop the bleeding. It’s unacceptable, the way we played tonight. The way we went out there and played obviously isn’t close to our standard and our expectation and what we need to do to get the results we want.

On if it’s frustrating to lose to other teams who are also going through injury issues:

Yeah, no question. We’re not playing well. We’ve had some good efforts and some games where we’ve let some things slip away. Tonight just flat-out isn’t good enough.

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