Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets that improved the Leafs’ record to 23-10-3 on the season.
On the team locking things down in the third period:
I thought we defended a little bit too much — more than I would like to have to do in the third. We would like to spend more time with the puck in the offensive zone. But it is a big road win for us. There are a lot of things that you can pick out about it that we could do better. We will certainly get to work on that tomorrow. We are just focused on getting off to a really good start to set ourselves up in the game. We did exactly that.
On the Matthews line’s two-goal performance:
A lot of jump. They were around the puck and attacked the net. That is the source of two goals for us — nothing too fancy about it; just work from all three of them. Hyman was around the net and around the puck. Those three guys really came out and were really driven to make a difference here right from the start. They got us the two goals that we needed which were ultimately enough to win us the game.
On Matthews and Marner’s defensive details of late:
I wouldn’t say of late. These guys have been really good defensively right from the start of the season. Both guys have really worked and really focused on it every night. Pretty much every night they are playing against the other team’s best players. Often, these are some of the best players in the world. Here tonight again, those guys did the job.
On Jack Campbell managing his injury situation and still performing at a high level when in the net:
He is managing it well. He and Steve Briere are putting in lots of work. It was an off day for us just to travel out here. He and Steve were on the ice getting work in on their own before the flight. He is taking time off as needed but also getting the work in when he is able to do so. That just speaks to him and how he is going to do everything he can to be ready to compete and to be there for his team.
On the continued power-play struggles:
For good reason, we are talking about the power play here today, but we are going to leave it be for today. We are going to continue to look at it and work at it. We have a practice day tomorrow. It is a big road win for us here today. The power play ended up not being a factor because our penalty kill did an excellent job. We are going to focus on the positives for today. We are being realistic about where we need to be better.
On Alex Kerfoot’s shorthanded goal:
Huge goal for us. Big moment in the game. We had a ton of chances shorthanded. It is good to see Kerf make good on it. We don’t like giving the one back right after that. But you are going against the number-one power play in the NHL in the last little while, and through the season, a top-five team in the NHL. Give them as many looks — a four-minute look — they are going to find a way to get one in.
Definitely, the shorthanded goal was a big one. They did get the one you would expect that they might with the number of minutes we gave them on the power play. It is not as big of a deal because you get that shorty.