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Babcock on Komarov, recent play and injuries

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs



Here's what Mike Babcock had to say when he addressed the media on Friday following Leafs practice.

Do you know what you're expecting for Komarov (re: supplemental discipline)?

No, they'll deal with it obviously. Leo is a good player, he's a hard player, I don't think he's ever been suspended in my mind for this stuff. He bumped McDonagh and it's real unfortunate, you don't ever want to see anybody get hurt in the game. The kid is a good player and an honest player. It's unfortunate for us, I thought it was a big factor in the game last night, we need Leo on the ice.

How difficult is it to get a lineup together with the injuries and potentially no Komarov?

It's not difficult, we're just going to put the lines up and they're going to get going. We've got to work hard. I thought we worked real hard last night, I thought we dominated the game, we turned the puck over twice -- our own fault, cost us the game. We had lots of chances and lots of play and I liked the way we were organized. To me, that's a good thing. No one is happy with losing, it sucks the life out of your group. It's hard to re-energize yourself. When everything is going good in your life, and you know it yourself, things are going good and it's easy to get up in the morning and life is great. Sometimes when it's not, it's a little harder, you've got to be mentally tougher. Let's suck it up and play hard.

How tough is it for physical players in a fast game like Komarov where referees evaluate plays in a split second?

Well I think we've all got to be conscious of each other's safety. I think it's part of being a good pro and Leo is that. I'm not concerned about that. He plays the game hard, Polie plays the game hard, they're men, they compete hard on a nightly basis, they get a lot of respect for it. There was no intent or malice in anything that happened, it was a hockey play in a hockey game, but the League and the Players' Union have a stand on this stuff and they should.

Has Corrado found his place in the last week?

Yeah, I think he's getting some confidence. In saying that, when you're on the ice for goals-against it's not -- everybody wants more and the more you get, the better players you get and the more it goes in your net. So, I don't know if that's the answer.

Would you say it's a learning experience for him?

Exactly, you've got to go through it. [Rielly] last night, our best D, he has the game right there on his stick right at the end, it doesn't go the way you want. You learn from it.

Are you happy with the increase in shots on goal?

I thought with the exception of the Chicago game, I thought we've started on time and I thought we played hard. I thought McDavid took it to us in Edmonton even though I thought we controlled tons of that game. The Chicago game we didn't prepare and we obviously didn't play hard enough. I thought we did real well last night but in the end we're not scoring. On our opportunities we don't finish good enough. When you look at our group you know we're going to be a little challenged offensively but that doesn't mean you can't compete hard and play hard and generate good opportunities.

Do you expect to have injured players back tomorrow night?

That's a good question. I don't know the answer for sure. We're going to know more tomorrow morning, we'll see how everyone did today with practice and see the results in the morning, then we'll go from there and know more about our lineup at that time.

Do you go back to Reimer tomorrow?

No, Bernie is going.

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