Here's a sampling of what the Maple Leafs and Lightning had to say following a 2-1 Leafs loss on Monday night.
Mike Babcock on players making their debut on Monday
I thought they were good. They’re fast. They’re hard on the puck. They’ve got skill. I thought we had the puck a lot. (Tampa Bay) played last night so keep it in perspective but I still thought we had lots of opportunity and I thought they made plays and they played fast, so I was impressed with them. Kapanen, obviously, has breakaway speed. Willy (Nylander) has skill. Hyman, a relentless worker who can still make plays, and Sosh (Soshnikov) I thought was good both ways so I thought those kids were good. I liked Carrick too. I thought he had some grease to him.
It was pretty awesome, I’m not going to lie. I enjoyed playing tonight. I think the team played pretty well against Tampa Bay and I played pretty well myself so I’m happy. I’m a little tired right now but that’s part of the job.
It was lots of fun. I think we created some chances. If I maybe could have scored one goal, but it was lots of fun so I think we gained a lot of experience from today and just keep building on from that.
Very exciting. Terrific group of guys. Just got in today, just got to the rink here about 4 o’clock and got to know the guys and the staff. Fun group. Very exciting time, I think, for us. Tampa Bay’s a pretty good team but we hung with them so it was exciting to see the way we played. We’re only going to get better.
Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper
We’ve played a lot of hockey of late. Three-in-four, back-to-back. Big thing for us was that we’ve got to get the lead and when you play these back-to-backs it’s so much easier to play with the lead. I thought we ended up scoring on some shots we shouldn’t have and missed some we probably should have scored but we got the lead and we did some good things, but ultimately we left it at the hands of our goaltender. Probably not the thing you want to do but Vassy (Vasilevskiy), he took it home for us. When Toronto really pushed there in the third, he was the guy for us tonight.
Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos
We definitely didn’t have the juice that we’ve had after an emotional win yesterday, I think three-in-four. Give those guys credit, they had a lot of new faces in the lineup. They worked hard. They competed. We were able to get that 2-0 lead but it was a tough one. Sometimes you’ve got to win games like this one when you have tired legs and we found a way.