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Mike Babcock - 1.18.2016

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs



Here's what Mike Babcock had to say after Leafs practice on Monday before the team traveled to Philadelphia.

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Do you think a new look in practice might spark the power play?

It wasn't really about that. To tell you the truth it was about getting Naz penalty killing. Whatever you saw on the power play, I wouldn't spend a whole lot of time worrying thinking about that.

How do you think penalty killing might help Kadri?

We just think we haven't seemed to find a rhythm with our forwards on the penalty kill and he's a guy who's sitting there waiting for his two linemates. We just think he's a guy who could be a penalty killer. I was going to wait until next season to do it but we're in a situation where we feel we need it now so we're just going to see if we can't get him tuned up so he can do that.

So Kadri will still be on the power play?

Oh yeah, for sure. We're just in a situation where we'll do power play at the morning skate tomorrow. Naz will be on the power play but we needed to get him some reps here today.

What is it about his game makes you think he's suited to the penalty kill?

I just think he's brave, he's smart, I don't think he'll have any issue whatsoever, it's just getting the time. All these players, we could do everything with them at once, but it doesn't work like that in life. You're just building blocks and you keep plugging away at it and once a guy is doing something pretty good you can move to the next thing. I'm not saying this is happening tomorrow in Philly, it's just something we did today.

How much offence do you expect from your bottom two lines?

I expect offence -- if you look at our team we haven't got any offence here in the last while. We're all in this together. It's like anything, when you're on a real good team you get contributions from everybody. That might be energy, that might be toughness, that might be penalty killing, but you've got to find a way to contribute to be a good teammate. That's just part of the business.

How do you handle the goalies this week?

Bernier [started the last game] so then Reimer is starting the next game.

Are you going to flip flop them going forward?

I know Reimer is starting in Philly.

Is Spaling getting close to a return?

No, but it was good to see him out there today.

Is Rielly losing his helmet in Boston a fluke thing?

Lots of things could have happened there. We could have had another helmet and he could have went on the ice. I think the rules are you can go out there without a helmet and they blow it down. If you put a player out there without a helmet and he happens to get a shot in the head off a deflection as a D-man, probably wouldn't be a good move. What I would say to you is this, it was real simple, I'm not concerned about who we had on the ice or anything, we didn't execute on a play. Real simple. But, if you go through the whole game, they were better than we were from start to finish. You'd like to get points in a game like that because you're there right at the end but if you go through who played better and who didn't, the right team won. We've got to make sure we're on the right end of how we play and what we do. In the end, the score will look after itself.

What do you like about Grabner with Parenteau and Bozak in practice?

I don't necessarily and I'm not saying that's going to happen, but when Naz is matching up we seem to do better than when other groups are. On the road if he's not going to draw their top line or they go away from him like they did in Boston, we may need another alternative. That's why I put Grabby there today.

Are you at a point with a lack of offence where you may look to a call-up?

Nope.

What have you seen recently from Winnik?

He didn't play last game. He didn't play last game so let's get at 'er.

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