Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night, dropping the Leafs’ record to 29-19-8 on the season.
On how the game played out in the third:
We scored that goal and it sets us up and gives us a chance to win in the third. The pace of play increased dramatically after that goal, and obviously, they were pushing. We didn’t handle it well.
When I say that, I thought we handled it very well defensively. I didn’t think we cracked. They had a couple of little chances around our net, but other than that, they didn’t have anything, I thought. They score a goal on a point shot, but I didn’t like how we played offensively when we had the puck. We did all of the things we don’t want to be as a team and we just gave it back to them. We never had a chance to get going.
On what happened in the third period (outshot 16-1) and whether fatigue factored in:
I’ll let you guys draw some conclusions on that. It is part of the league. It is part of the demands of what goes on in the schedule with the ebbs and flows of it. I thought we played a good game and we played a hard game. I thought we competed.
What happens in the third period today is a lot different than what happens yesterday. Yesterday, we are not engaged. We are not competitive or physical enough, and we’re on our heels. In this game here, I thought we defended very well and defended very hard — didn’t give up the middle of the ice much at all. We were just very poor with the puck.
When you have a team that is pushing and has the energy of the crowd, you can’t just continuously give them the puck. You are going to be on your heels a lot.
On Jack Campbell’s performance in the back-to-back start:
He was there. He didn’t let anything in until the very end. I thought we did a heck of a job protecting him. We didn’t give up very many scoring chances through this game at all, but back-to-back games… He’s been through a lot here this week. He was solid.
On John Tavares heating up with five goals in his last four games:
He is just catching on. We’ve talked about it. He is a good player. He is going to have these swings. It is kind of a waste of time to talk about it when he is not scoring. It is going to turn. That’s the way that it goes. It’s been great. It’s been good timing. We played without Willy this weekend, so we needed somebody else to step up.
For me, that is really the difference in the hockey game today. You don’t win games when you score one goal. It is very difficult. I think that is what I take away from this game: We were not able to generate enough offensively — in the first and second periods as well. The power play wasn’t very good for us today. We left that team hanging around. If you just have a one-goal cushion like that, you leave the door open for a point shot to get you.
On Frederik Andersen’s status for Monday’s practice:
I am not quite sure where that is at. I know he did skate again today. While we were here, he skated. I haven’t gotten a report on it, so we’ll just have to see how he is on Monday.