After practice on Friday, Sheldon Keefe discussed Auston Matthews’ elite goal-scoring abilities, the injury status of Jack Campbell and Travis Dermott, the message to Rasmus Sandin after 11 games on the taxi squad, and the group leadership the team is showing early in the season.

It may sound overly simplistic, but how high can Auston Matthews go?

Keefe: You can’t put limitations on players of his calibre. He’s got elite talent but he’s got the elite drive to be great, so you can’t put limitations on it.

He was out working on his shot. What has been your perspective on how he has been able to maintain and improve his best weapon?

Keefe: He works at it. He is passionate about it. Whether it is offseason or in season, he wants to get the reps. We know the dangerous weapon that he has, but I don’t think he gets enough credit for the fact that he scores in so many different ways. Different types of shots, far away from the net, close to the net, rebounds, tips — he scores in all different ways. That is probably the most impressive part.

Do you have an update on Jack Campbell? Is there an expected date for his return:

Keefe: No, no update there. I know that he is progressing, but in terms of dates, I don’t have that.

Is there an update on Travis Dermott?

Keefe: No update. He didn’t practice today. He wasn’t feeling good enough. They’re calling it day to day.

Is he a possibility for tomorrow night?

Keefe: No, he is not.

Towards the end of practice, you had a chat with Rasmus Sandin. Can you share what message you are imparting with him right now?

Keefe: It is just letting him know that Mikko is going to go tomorrow and checking in with him. When he sees a guy go down, that is when a player would start to think it is maybe going to be his chance. Not quite yet. I just reminded him that, right now, it is Mikko’s time. We are giving him an opportunity here to get some traction.

We had a bit of a plan in terms of how we moved him in and out of the lineup to give him a chance to play and for us to speak with him about his game. I actually thought, despite the fact that it was a short practice today, it was Mikko’s best practice he has had with us in terms of the jump that he had and some of the plays he made. We played little small-area games to start practice, and he made some subtle plays within that — things we have really been talking to him about and working at.

I am sure he is confident coming in. He has put in a lot of good work here over the last number of days on the development side. Stephane Robidas has worked very closely with him, as has Dave Hakstol. We want to continue to go with that.

That was my message to Rasmus as it relates to Mikko, but it is also just reminding him we haven’t forgotten who Rasmus is and what he can bring. His time will come. He just has to remain patient as we go through this.

You mentioned Jason Spezza’s voice was one you heard a lot on the bench last year. Whose voices are you hearing a lot this season?

Keefe: I think every player is having their moments. We have had a lot more chatter on our bench from everybody. Simmonds and Bogosian have added a lot in that regard, and Jumbo when he was in the lineup.

I have seen progression for everybody all the way through. Having multiple people that have that level of personality brings it out in others. Whether it is John, Auston, Mitch, Will, guys are stepping up in that regard, whether it is encouraging one another or pushing each other. It has been very good. It is an area we needed to improve upon and so far, so good in that area.

Did the fourth line set a new bar for you guys last night?

Keefe: They were definitely really good. They created a lot. They had the puck a lot. We’ve talked in the past about how we felt there was a new standard there. Those guys did a good job yesterday for sure. The one thing they did really well, aside from producing offense and scoring, was carry the play. They won shifts. They changed in the offensive zone and set up the next line really well.

They are going to go again tomorrow. My message to them: Yesterday is a game where most things went our way. The games are going to be more difficult. There are other areas of the game we will be challenged on, and that is where we want to see the detail, the competitiveness, and the physicality all brought out in that type of environment.

You are playing your whole season in Canada. There are obviously different risks here. But what crosses your mind when you see what has happened with all of the teams in the U.S.?

Keefe: A couple of things. The first thing is that it is a reminder for us that the virus is very much present. We have to be responsible despite the fact that, here in Canada, we have done a good job of avoiding the situations, but they are prevalent. They are around us, as we know. That is why we have been going through what we have been going through here in the country.

Certainly, I have a lot of friends inside the league and outside the league down in the U.S. They are trying to manage it as best as they can there as we all here.

There has to be a level of stress with the virus and schedule that your team just doesn’t have to deal with right now — knock on wood.

Keefe: I think we are dealing with it just the same in the sense that protocols are the same. We are taking an abundance of caution in everything that we are doing. I think the stresses, frankly, are similar. It is just that the virus hasn’t been as prevalent. There are different circumstances in different countries, and the way things have gone.