Sheldon Keefe and John Tortorella address their teams’ performances after a come-from-behind Columbus Blue Jackets overtime victory in Game 3.
Keefe: “We didn’t have any real purpose or plan to our game today. We were just making it up as we go along. We get what we deserve.”
Keefe on forfeiting the 3-0 lead:
I feel like the game got away from us right from the start. I didn’t like our game in the first period. I didn’t like our game at 1-0. I didn’t like our game at 2-0 or 3-0. We just got what we deserved today.
I thought we reverted back to a lot of really bad habits. We didn’t have any real purpose or plan to our game today. We were just making it up as we go along. We get what we deserve.
Keefe on the letdown after such a good 60-minute performance in Game 2:
Tough to explain. That is part of the deal, right? It is part of a playoff series. Every day is a new day, just like it was after Game 1, just like it was after Game 2, and just like it is here. We’ve just got to put this behind us and come back tomorrow.
Keefe on what he is going to learn about his group in the next 24 hours:
We are going to learn a great deal. I think we’ve already been through this. We’ve been through adventures like this with this team before. We’ve always come back with a great performance. Tomorrow will be no different.
Keefe on Travis Dermott’s performance in the top pair role:
I thought, as a team, we didn’t help our defense as a group. As a group, our defense didn’t help themselves.
Keefe on the message to the group ahead of Game 4 on Friday night:
I’ve already talked to the team here today. We really just reiterated the things we were talking about the entire game — that we weren’t playing with any real plan or purpose. It caught up with us. But it is over now. We’ve got to regroup here. This is what playoff hockey is all about — the emotions, the swings, the momentum. It is the best part of playoffs here.
It’s a chance to regroup and come back at it tomorrow and be a better version of ourselves than we were today. That is an exciting part for me. We will get to work on that.
Tortorella: “We just play… We don’t overthink things”
Tortorella on Pierre Luc Dubois’ hat-trick performance after he was reprimanded on the bench in Game 2:
Luc is a good player. We are trying to get consistency out of him. We are trying to teach him what it is to be a pro in all situations. Obviously, he was a huge part of it tonight.
The exchange… I think people make a bigger deal out if it than it should be. We are coaching our players. We are coaching all of our players. Sometimes, certain things happen, and you have to coach them. I am not so sure that has anything to do with tonight. I just think Luc played a really good hockey game and had some great concentration.
Tortorella on the team’s mood on the bench when down 3-0:
We were okay. It took us a little while to find our game. It was kind of going in increments as far as the level. Certainly, we weren’t playing at a level high enough early on. We got unlucky on their first goal. We just try to keep on playing.
Tortorella on the goaltending switch after the 3-0 goal:
It certainly wasn’t due to Korpi’s play. If you go down 3-0 and you are playing back-to-back, I have to start thinking sometimes, “I need to get ready for the next game also, especially in these back-to-back situations.”
We have tremendous faith in Elvis. He is a really good goalie. It gave us a chance to catch our breath. I think that is one of the biggest things we needed to do: just stop and slow it down a little bit because it was getting away from us.
Tortorella on whether the team’s playoff experience from recent years came through tonight:
I think we have grown as a team. As I said when we made the playoffs a few years ago for the first time, the more and more experience you get, the more and more you understand about certain things — momentum swings, and all of the things that come with it.
I’ll tell you, though… I am not sure what is best — total experience in playoff hockey, or just youth and dumbness. We’ve got a lot of young kids on this team. I don’t think anyone is afraid of the situation at all. A lot of them haven’t had a ton of experience in playoffs.
As I said earlier, we just play. We don’t overthink things. It is not adjustments and this, that, and the other thing. We just try to go out and play the game the right way.
Tortorella on the importance of getting his team to settle down and be prepared for a quick turnaround for Game 4:
I want them to have a ball right now. That is why we play. It was a really good game by both teams. It is too bad fans weren’t in the building. I want them to enjoy themselves now in the proper way. I trust them. They will be ready to go tomorrow. We have an 11:30 meeting tomorrow. They can kind of get away from it and enjoy themselves right now. They’ll be ready to play tomorrow.