Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 2-1 overtime win over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night, improving the Leafs’ record to 15-4-2 on the season.
On why William Nylander seems to be misunderstood within the market:
In the last couple of games, he has had real good legs. He has been skating well with the puck. I said the other night that it feels like he was ready to break out. That’s good.
Why is he misunderstood? Willy has to own some of that. He has got find more consistency in his game. He and I have talked a lot about those kinds of things. He has got to be engaged and good without the puck.
Part of it is perhaps being misunderstood. Part of it is that he still has to grow as a player.
On Michael Hutchinson’s performance:
I thought we did a good job once again here of not giving up [a lot] with the exception of the goal we gave up. That is the one big chance. That was really the way the game was going: Who is going to give up the big chance? We had a breakdown there. It felt like we stopped playing for a little bit and exposed ourselves there. That is an area where you never want to give that up. Aside from that, I thought we did a good job.
Certainly, I thought Hutch was really solid. He gave us lots of confidence to just keep playing today. He gave us a chance to win. He keeps it at 0 for most of the game, and he keeps it at 1. You’ve got a hope and a chance. We found a way through a nice group effort there at the crease to get one in. It gives us a chance for Will to do his thing and win the game on a spectacular goal.
On whether Auston Matthews’ wrist was bugging him as the game went along:
Yes, it was. Yeah.
On why he started Tavares-Marner and then Matthews-Nylander in OT:
It was really just as simple as Auston wasn’t comfortable taking the faceoff. It was just the way his wrist was feeling. The faceoff, to me, is really important at three-on-three. We sent John for that. We intended to send Auston on the fly. It just so happened we had a d-zone faceoff, but it was on the right side, and Will took it and won it. We won both of those faceoffs, and it gave us the puck for the bulk of the time we spent there.
If you have the puck, you give yourself a good chance at three-on-three to make something happen.
On whether Matthews’ wrist situation is a real concern and if it can be easily treated:
I think it is something that can be treated. He has been dealing with it for a long time now throughout the season. It hasn’t slowed him down. Today, it was a factor.
We do have a couple of days here before we play again — a full day off tomorrow, a practice and travel day, and then we get out West. We will see how he is. We will continue to take care of him and monitor it. We don’t think it is anything more at this point than what he has been dealing with.