TORONTO — Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock got a little salty Tuesday when a reporter, referencing Don Cherry, took aim at the team's goaltending.
Facing the assertion that the goaltending has been an issue in Toronto for a number of years, Babcock pointed out the season was just five games old and that he had been in charge of the team for a little over a season. But his diplomacy was stretched when the reporter cited Cherry, who called the Leafs goaltending "lousy" on "Coach's Corner" on Saturday.
"Oh OK. Well now that I know where I'm getting my facts from, here we go," the coach said. "Come on, let's move on. What's next here?"
Babcock, with a bemused look, finished the sentence with a variation of holy smoke.
The Toronto coach then answered, saying No. 1 Frederik Anderson's preparation for the season had been hampered by injury.
"We think we've got a really good goaltender," he said.
"We're real comfortable with him," he added. "Do we think he has played as good as he's capable of playing? No. Do we think he's going to? Yes."
Going into Tuesday's game against Tampa Bay, Andersen had a 3.63 goals-against average and .879 save percentage.