Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, improving the Leafs’ record to 2-1-0 on the season.
On Nick Robertson’s status:
He looks like he is definitely going to miss some time. The extent of it we don’t quite know yet. He is going to get an MRI tomorrow or very soon. We will know more then.
On Joe Thornton’s goal:
I thought it was a great goal. It was a great sequence by that line. That line, you could tell from the drop of the puck, was going to have a night. They have been working really hard. They hadn’t had the results quite yet, but they were working and it was just a matter of time for the line and for Auston, certainly.
I thought that line was going to break out today. I don’t know if I had Jumbo being the first one to get on the board, but you could tell the line was going to break out and have a good night. It did, and it was great.
On what he liked about the Matthews line:
We had talked before the game about how offensively, we needed to really increase our pace. That has been something we have been talking about and working on since day one of training camp. It hadn’t really shown up in our first two games. With how Ottawa is playing and how they are competing defensively — how they are content to defend — is a real challenge for us to make sure we are doing that. I thought we did that tonight.
As a result, I just thought those guys were way more involved. They were all over the puck. They were just getting pucks back. They were getting second and third opportunities in the offensive zone. It just really opened the game up for them.
We didn’t get an abundance of great chances, but those guys were quite good today. You lose sight of just how good defensively they were at the same time.
On Jack Campbell’s performance:
He looked excellent. It was a tough night for a goalie. He goes long stretches without shots. We did still give up some looks at the net and let guys in behind us in our own end — not so much breakaways or rushes or anything like that, but they got some clean looks at the net. Their power play was pretty dangerous. They had some looks there and some looks at the end. Obviously, the game-saving save at the end is big-time stuff.
It is great. It is what you want to get from your goaltender coming in like this. It is a back-to-back game for our team. We needed to have a great response and have great goaltending. He brought that for us.
On where the team improved defensively:
We really didn’t spend much time in our own end at all tonight. That is a big part of it. We had the puck a lot. When we didn’t have the puck, we were above the thing quickly and got it back quite quickly. It wasn’t perfect. At times, they had some looks at our net. We want to do a better job there of picking up coverage and things, but we didn’t really spend much time in our own end tonight
Frankly, we didn’t spend much time in their end yesterday, either, but when we did, we weren’t very good in that regard. Today, we were in and out pretty quick. That helps a great deal.
On reducing Joe Thornton’s minutes to around 14 and whether it was the back-to-back or the game situation:
A little bit of both. I was mindful not just of him but of some of our other guys and trying to spread out the minutes a little bit better. We lost Robertson, and that kind of changed the flow a little bit. I was spotting in Simmonds with that line a little and moving things around a bit.
I was mindful of the back-to-back, but it was circumstantial, really. I thought Joe had great legs right to the very end of the game. Some of our best tracks and catching guys from behind and creating turnover in the last couple of games here against Ottawa came from Joe with his effort there. I am feeling really good about what he is able to do and how he looks in that area.