Sheldon Keefe spoke to the media after the team had won 5-3 from the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night, improving the Leafs record in the 14-3-2 season.
How did the team end the game on the third:
I thought we agreed the game down. I didn’t like the chaos of the second season. Once we have gained leadership, we need to work better with it.
In the third period, we were really good at that. We just sucked on the game of life, what do you want to do when you’ve gotten the lead against a team like this – especially a fresh team that we knew would get a lot of legs in the third period. We knew we had to slow down the game. Our friends did a good job of it.
When Nylander sat for the last nine minutes and was it about sending a message, getting hurt, or trying to get other friends into the situation:
A little about all of this except injury.
About Nylander’s performance tonight:
Both tonight and in the previous match, I thought he had good stretches where he has had good legs and he looks really dangerous – as if he was ready to break out. I just didn’t like some of the things here today when we got the lead as a team. I don’t think we did great things in the second episode. In the third episode, we got it the way we really wanted it. I didn’t think Willy would fit in.
The decision is successfully challenged by the goalkeeper’s absence from the game at 4-2 at the end of the second:
The fact that we had more time [because of the ref’s review] allowed us to get more insights from different perspectives. That was probably the biggest thing. The original angle we had was just above. It was a tough decision based on it. For a couple with more looks from different perspectives, it made me want to move on in it.
It’s one of them that, based on all the research we’ve done and all the historical things, we weren’t really sure which direction it would go. But we felt comfortable enough to at least give it a shot with two goals in the lead. In the worst case, we had to dig the punishment and kill it, but especially from one point of view – the ice level – I thought there might be a good chance of getting it turned. Fortunately, it happened.
From the continuing splendor of Auston Matthews:
He’s just an elite player who makes an elite. He and Mitch, of course, got a lot of great things. I think it’s important that Auston sets new standards every day for himself, and thus for our team, because he takes us to big things.
But I also think it’s important to recognize Mitch Marner’s play here and how he’s really connected with Auston and they’re pushing each other to new heights. It’s been fun to watch it.
When he returns, Jumbo has also brought a lot to the line.
From the center of Pierre Engvall in the last games:
I thought he was really good today. The biggest thing that I have frankly said: Gaming The central portion has been of some importance, because – especially this evening – that the line was offensive side of the red line for most of the game. In that case, you really don’t play venues. You are just on the puck and you play in the attack and you follow and get back above it. It’s just more 1-2-3 compared to centers and winger. He was really good.
I thought Zach Hyman came back here today, you can see that he is not far from 100% here, but after the match it looked like he had extra legs today especially in the third period. He put in the clinic how he was on the puck.
I thought with Pierre and Mickey and their speed, these three guys didn’t seem to be having fun with the opposition tonight in their many shifts.