- The series hasn’t begun yet, but that doesn’t mean the games haven’t - or more accurately, the gamesmanship between the two coaches:
Babcock on Capitals being top seed: "That pucker factor is an unbelievable thing... pressure is a wonderful thing if you're the underdog."— James Mirtle (@mirtle) April 11, 2017
Barry Trotz on Mike Babcock's "pressure" quotes: "He's playing you guys."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 12, 2017
Remember, these two spent a lot of time together back in the fall:
Trotz said he and Babcock spent a lot of time talking about their teams during World Cup, so they have a lot of info on each other.— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) April 11, 2017
2. It’s official: the Leafs will definitely be without blueliner Nikita Zaitsev for Game 1 tomorrow night.
Zaitsev not available for game 1— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) April 12, 2017
In his place will be Martin Marincin, who makes his first appearance in the lineup since 3/14:
Babcock on Marincin overcoming rust: "He's just got to decide if he wants to play in the 2nd game"— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 12, 2017
3. As we noted earlier today, the Leafs are an incredibly young and inexperienced team. The Caps, chock full of elderly guys in their late-20s, have more years - and a lot more playoff experience in their corner. How much does that matter? Well, Coach Babcock certainly
is pretending like he doesn’t think it matters.
Babcock: "When you're young you think experience is overrated. When you're old you think experience is everything ..."— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 12, 2017
Babcock: " ... lots of young teams have won so let's just find a way."— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 12, 2017
Let the games begin.