Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Calgary Flames, dropping the Leafs’ record to 25-16-7 on the season.
On the team’s effort:
I thought that it was a pretty even game all the way through. The scoreboard reflected that. I liked the way we were able to tie the game. It was a big point for us in the third period and a big power-play goal when we really needed it. We could’ve used one in the second there or earlier in the game, but obviously, we’ll take that.
We generated a number of chances that, on another night, are going to go in for us. The goaltender was very good. Some of the luck didn’t go our way. Sometimes, these things are going to happen. I liked, though, that within all of that, we didn’t lose our defensive structure very often. There are some things we would like to do a little bit better job of in our own zone, but for the most part, I thought it was a pretty solid effort defensively. We just couldn’t get one to go in for us there.
On David Rittich’s performance:
That’s the way that it works out. You’ve got two goaltenders going head to head and you end up with a low-scoring affair, so it works out that way. As I said, I thought we had a number of really good chances that their guy made real good on. A few of them were pucks rolling on us or just bounces over our stick. As I say, these things are going to happen now and again.
On the long own-zone shift to start overtime:
It makes it so some of your best guys early on are pretty tired and don’t get to touch the puck. That’s really it. We didn’t get the puck. We lost the draw and they didn’t give it up. They did a good job of retaining it. When they did get a look or two, they got it back quickly. They made it hard on us. I thought after that, we got through it and things were pretty even after.
On the decision to bump Andreas Johnsson up to Matthews’ line and Zach Hyman down to the Tavares line:
I just didn’t feel that we had much going. I thought today, for the Matthews line, was one day that it didn’t seem like much was really happening. I just tried to change the chemistry a little bit and tried to get some different looks. That’s really it.
On Andreas Johnsson getting back up to speed coming back from injury:
I did [see some jump] at times. It’s also very apparent that he is behind here in terms of his conditioning and such. His shifts were real short. He gathers his energy, goes out, and has a burst. He is pretty gassed after that. I saw him a number of times coming back to the bench tired. That is something he is going to have to work his way through. We are going to have to help him do that.
But I did think he made some plays at good times there. We had Matty in a real good spot to get one for us there off the stick of Mango. It didn’t fall, but it’s good to see him start to come.