Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames that improved the Leafs’ record to 25-10-3 on the season and 6-0-1 in their last seven games.
On the team finding its way in the third period after a less-than-stellar 40 minutes:
We obviously were not very good at all through 40 minutes, but we were in a game. We gave ourselves an opportunity to win a hockey game and got a big goal there late in the second. The way that it worked out, we really needed to find a way to get better for 20. We knew that if we did, we liked our opportunity to get points here tonight. I really liked our third.
On Michael Hutchinson’s performance and the team’s goaltending depth:
He was great tonight right from the first shot of the game — a breakaway, and he was solid there. I have talked about it: When you go in as a goaltender, you don’t want to give up any goals, but you are certainly looking to keep it below three. When you keep it below three, our team should win. He did that job here tonight.
Obviously, they get their second goal and that is a tough goal to give up for us with how tough our first period was. But when it says at two, you are hanging around. That is why we were right there in the third. We regrouped in the third and got a win. That is on the back of solid goaltending.
Our guys have done a really good job — all three goalies this year have given us an opportunity to win games. It is a big part of why we are where we are.
On why this season has been so much better for Hutchinson compared to last season:
It is hard to say. He has obviously performed better, but I think we are a better team. We can’t not address that. At times, when Hutch was struggling last season, our team did not play well in front of him.
There were also games where we did play well in front of him — I think of the shutout he got against the Islanders. There was a period of time there where we won five consecutive starts that Hutch had last season and we played very well in front of him.
When you are a goalie who is coming in and you don’t play a lot, your team needs to play well in front of you. Tonight, I really don’t think we did that, but if you look over the course of the season, I think we have played better. I think it gives the goalie extra confidence.
Coming back in for a new year and us bringing him back in and of itself probably shows that we have confidence in him.
You would have to ask him, but for me, I would think his experience with Colorado — going into the playoffs and playing playoff games at such a high-pressure moment — serves a guy well with his confidence, too. A lot of different things go into it, but of course, you have to give him credit for how he has stuck with it here.
On whether Jack Campbell is confirmed as the starter for tomorrow:
We will have to see about that. We didn’t feel it made sense to have him back up here today with the potential of having to go in cold and all of that kind of stuff. We will see how he gets through the morning skate tomorrow and make the decision from there. We are hopeful that is going to be the case, yes.