After the team’s skill sessions on Monday, Sheldon Keefe discussed the loss of Travis Boyd to Vancouver via waivers, the status of Jack Campbell and Frederik Andersen (both absent from practice), the challenges ahead for Campbell if he starts more games, and the team’s puck management.
What are your thoughts on losing Travis Boyd to waivers? It seems like a loss of some useful forward depth.
Keefe: Very similar to Vesey, you don’t want to lose these guys. The system is what it is and the salary cap is what it is. You have to manage that well. We added a piece like Galchenyuk, who has the flexibility to move on and off of the roster. We’re trying to create similar situations, with Simmonds coming back healthy, with Vesey and Boyd.
It is what it is. It gives players like them opportunities to go to teams that have needs. In this case, Vancouver has been dealing with lots of injuries there. These guys will go there and get a good chance.
Specific to Boyd, he has played well here in the opportunities he was given. We would’ve liked to have kept him — and certainly, the depth is nice to have — but we feel like we have lots of other guys… We mentioned Galchenyuk, but of course, there are a number of others that are on the taxi squad or with the Marlies that we feel good about there, too.
Can we get an update on Frederik Andersen and Jack Campbell not being at practice?
Keefe: For Campbell, it is just a rest day for him. Obviously, coming off of his injuries like he has been, we wanted to give him an extra day here today, but he is fine and he will be back on the ice tomorrow. We’re not expecting Fred on the ice tomorrow. I don’t have any real update on him other than to say he is day-to-day.
Are you able to shed any more light on what Andersen is dealing with right now?
Keefe: Just lower body. It is the same thing he missed time for previously. Nothing new.
What went into recalling Ian Scott? We know he hasn’t played in a while, but you recalled him to the taxi squad.
Keefe: Biggest thing, really, is that we need to have two goalies on the ice today for our session. Ian has fought injuries for the last year and a half or so. He is working his way back. For the nature of today’s skate, especially here, we don’t want to disrupt Joe Woll, who has been getting starts with the Marlies and is getting into a routine here. We have had to disrupt him probably too much already given the NHL rules that you have to have three goalies at all times — one on the taxi squad at all times.
We just thought that Scott is working his way back to full health and hasn’t yet played. It was just easier for him to come up instead of Woll.
How big of an adjustment is it for Jack Campbell when he starts playing more? Obviously, we don’t know Andersen’s status, but do you see that as a big adjustment for a goalie?
Keefe: I think it is for sure. It is not a huge one given that, through most of their lives, they are used to playing a lot. But when it comes to this level, and you are not used to playing or haven’t played as much, it is different in terms of how you manage it mentally and physically.
Add in the fact that he has been a guy who has been fighting injuries this season, and that is a whole other side of it. We have to manage that well. Giving him an additional day off of the ice today is part of that.
You mentioned Campbell’s energy the other day. In what ways can that influence the group in front of him?
Keefe: I think it serves the team well. Whether he is in the net or on the bench, it is similar. He brings life to the group. He is a fun guy to be around. The guys enjoy their interactions with him. When he goes in the net, they know that he is going to compete. They want to compete right alongside him. I think that is all a part of it. It is a part of a healthy relationship between teammates.
We have that all throughout our goaltending. Fred is just the same. He has a different personality, but he has a lot of great relationships on the team. The guys want to play for him. That is a very important thing — not just in goal but all throughout your lineup.
We have talked a lot about that this season: We feel we have that to a greater degree this season throughout the team.
With the way the NHL tracks stats, they have you guys averaging about 12 giveaways per game. How much stock do you put into that? Where do you feel your team is at in terms of its puck management?
Keefe: I think we definitely want to get better in that area. From that point of view, puck management is a big deal and something we look a lot at. I have my own issues with the NHL stats and how they track it, and we’ve looked at that just to make sure we are looking at the right things. Obviously, we have a lot of different data points that come at us from different companies and in our own tracking — all of those kinds of things. We want to make sure we are following the right things.
I think there is a lot of disparity around the NHL with how the NHL stats are tracked. We have looked at that. I am not quite sure what is a turnover, a giveaway, a takeaway, or a hit. There is a lot of variance there. It is a dangerous game to get into when you are looking at those things. But there are a lot of other things out there that would point to the fact that we can grow in the area you are talking about.