Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night, dropping the Leafs’ record to 3-2-0 on the season.
On Matthews’ comments that the team was playing it too safe:
I mean, if you don’t play a little bit safe against this team, they are going to embarrass you, like they did the last time they were in here. You have to be intelligent. At the same time, when we had our opportunities to play with the puck, they defended well and we didn’t make any plays. We didn’t get off the wall. We didn’t do anything.
We can talk about it however way we wish. Both teams defended well today. They were just a little bit better offensively than we were, and that is the difference.
On whether the team can take positives from the defensive effort:
Well, sure, yeah. Defensively, I thought we didn’t really expose ourselves until the third period when we started to give up some chances while were really pressing.
I didn’t like our game at all today. I thought we were really slow and disjointed. We didn’t play with enough pace to generate any sort of sustained pressure on offense. We couldn’t draw power plays. We took some careless penalties ourselves. That ends up being the difference in the game — a bad bounce and a penalty we couldn’t kill cost us in the third.
On Joe Thornton’s status after leaving the game with an injury:
It looks like he is definitely going to miss some time here with us. I don’t know the extent of it. He is going to have to get more tests and images and stuff like that later this week.
On adjustments for Friday night:
We are going to have to look at it. They defended really well today. They really shut down the neutral zone, and it made it difficult for us to get through there. We were stalled offensively. Once we got in their zone, it was really difficult to get to their net. We’ll have to look at what we can do better there offensively.
I don’t think, when we had the puck, that we played well. You are definitely aware of who you are out there against and it is a big factor in the game, but there is no excuse for it to affect us offensively the way that it did. We just didn’t skate or create enough offensively today.
On the penalty called against Jake Muzzin:
I thought we had a hold, a high stick, a trip. These are careless penalties that the other team is not taking. We had a couple of power plays. We had a chance to score on those and didn’t. We took some careless ones there that stalled our game even more.
A power play like that is going to break through eventually. We gave them too many opportunities.
On Matthews’ performance over 200 feet:
I thought he worked and did a pretty good job. I thought our guys were really disconnected today. I thought anything where we had success, like his goal, was very individual. He created the takeaway and attacked the net. We didn’t do much together with any sort of connection from our zone, to the neutral zone, to the offensive zone.
It made it difficult. They defended well and pushed us to the walls. If you don’t have proper support and people around the puck, it makes it real hard. I thought all of our lines were disjointed. We didn’t have legs.
It was a strange game. I don’t know how many of you were in the building, but today was the first day for me that felt like a game with no fans in it. It was a real quiet, slow pace to the game in the first period. It felt like one of those nights. We were just trying to get something going, and it never really felt like we got there.