Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 3-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night, improving the Leafs’ record to 17-4-2 on the season.
On the team picking up two consecutive shutouts against McDavid’s Oilers with backups in net:
We are getting to the point here now where we are proving we are a team that can defend well. I think that is a big part of our success as a team to this point. Given the injuries and the adversities that we have faced here — especially in these two games, with the calibre of player we’re without in Auston and our goaltenders being out with Fred missing both games and Jack missing today — it really calls on a team to step up and play a real good team game, particularly defensively.
I thought today’s game was a different animal than what we had the other night. I don’t think we were nearly as good today. Our goaltending, obviously, was outstanding. Hutch was outstanding. In the first 5-10 minutes of the first period, it could’ve gone really ugly for us. Hutch was outstanding and gave us a chance to gather ourselves a little bit.
We were very opportunistic and capitalized on the chances we did have to build the lead. Obviously, it is very good for our confidence as a group that we were able to deal with different situations. We pulled together and got big performances from different people.
On Zach Hyman’s incredible series so far and the infectiousness of his work rate:
It is something you can really feel on the bench — the way the guys talk and respond when he is out there. When he is putting forth efforts like that, the positivity that it builds on the bench is a really good thing. It is contagious, for sure.
He scored a big goal, obviously, to start the game. He had a lot of chances to build on that. In all regards today, he was excellent.
On the team’s resilience despite the injuries:
It really forces you to fall back on your structure, play as a team, get guys to step up at key moments — all of those kinds of things. That has been happening for us. It has really been good to see. Obviously, we want to get our people back here. We know we are certainly a stronger group when we are a healthy, but it is a good sign when you can still get wins, especially here on the road against a very good team that was coming in here with an abundance of confidence. They were playing as good or better than anybody in the league. To have these two results here through the two games of this trip is a very positive sign for us for sure.
I didn’t like our game today as much as I did the other night, and yet our guys really did play hard. They really played hard. I thought we defend our net very well. When we had breakdowns, Hutch was terrific. It just felt like one of those nights. With the way he was moving in the net and the saves he was making, at least on the bench, it gave me the confidence that they were going to have to do a lot to score one here tonight. He was terrific. It was fun to watch him out there.
On Auston Matthews’ status:
He is day to day. He has been skating. He got through our practice yesterday. He has been limited. We are just waiting for the strength to come back. Where it is at — it is a little bit of a different situation he is dealing with than what it was previously for him. That was kind of a nagging thing. This is a bit of a different situation.
He is progressing just from how much he has been on the ice and how much more he has been handling the puck each day. He continues to be day-to-day — same with our goaltending situation.
On Jack Campbell’s status:
For Jack, it is just a reaggravation of the injury he was originally out with. You go through your rehab and your practice sessions, and he was feeling really good. Game conditions are a whole different beast. It didn’t respond the way that he or our training staff were hoping. We are just being more cautious with it. We are hoping that with another day here today, tomorrow things will feel better. We will just have to take it a day at a time.