Too much of this conversation is about that game that one time. Gardiner says the curse is broken, and that’s enough.
The money quote came when he was asked about his roughing penalty: “[laughing] I guess I was the third guy in, and I hit Chara’s fist with my face, and that might have been the penalty, I’m not sure.”
Babcock tells a nice Canadiana story about how taking penalties so many penalties makes the offensive players feel like they’re stuck out on the Ski-Doo that’s out of gas freezing to death.
Then he’s asked if he has any quarrel about how the officiating has been done, and he gives his classic answer: “That’s a real nice question that you should ask me in the summer.” Later on, he’s very clear the problem is too many penalties taken, so as much as we might want to point at the refs, the players bear some responsibility too.
On the lines for Monday is the same guys but not necessarily in the same lines. Babcock then clarifies that Leo Komarov is definitely not cleared to play, and is only at about 85% healthy.
You really should listen to him talk about the fans and how they don’t really know yet if the team is good enough. He has a different way of speaking about the team and what they believe about themselves.
There’s a very argumentative question about Ron Hainsey playing the PK that never mentions him by name, but rather by age. Sometimes the media are weird, to be honest. Today was one of those time.
Marleau notes that they need to take fewer penalties, but he also talks about needing clean breakouts. It’s not like the Leafs don’t know where their weaknesses lie.
Everyone wants to know how Marner feels playing against Marchand. His answers are interesting beneath the hockey code words. “Respect” is taking on a lot of work in his answer.
He is very nonchalant about being the target of special attention and hits. He mentions that when he played in London it was Matthew Tkachuk who took a lot of the ire of the other teams.
Rielly makes a reference to the penalty total, but in jest. No one is going to stand up and call out the NHL here, but his comments are the usual run of things he has to say.
There is a dogged effort to get him to say something juicy about Marchand, but it doesn’t pay off.
In sum, very little of this was about hockey. The only hockey play question seemed to be one to Babcock about Johnsson passing when he should have shot. The rest was refs and Marchand.
Bonus content: Andreas Johnsson from last night after scoring the first playoff goal of his NHL career.
He says that the lineup change came right before the game, which is interesting. Also, he wasn’t expecting to play any more games in the NHL this year other than a few at the end of the season.