Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens that improved the Leafs’ record to 27-10-3 on the season and 8-0-1 in their last nine.
On Jack Campbell setting the franchise record with a 10-0-0 run:
He deserves everything that has come his way this year in terms of the attention and the questions. I know our team is thrilled for him and clearly played hard for him in that third period.
On the Habs’ push in the second period and Campbell’s play in the middle 20:
Obviously, it was not a good second period for us. It was a good example of what makes Montreal a great team. When you don’t get on the front foot and you don’t get control of the game, it is really hard to take it from them. They shoot the puck from everywhere. They come hard. They defend hard. They take away space.
We knew that there was potential for that. In their most recent game, shots were 15-2 against the Oilers. You see the potential for that type of period from them. We liked how we handled the first, and then the second got away from us and was difficult.
Jack was solid. Lots of volume. Lots of pucks coming at the net through traffic and things like that. I thought our team did a good job — despite being under siege — of really not giving up a whole lot in terms of real quality scoring chances or odd-man situations.
Credit to our guys for not cracking under that pressure. Of course, Soupy being there to stand tall gives us a chance to gather ourselves and have a big third period.
On the spirit of the team during this run:
It is huge. The group had a great moment after the game to celebrate and acknowledge his achievement. Jack, at the same time, is gracious, of course, as we all know. He passes off a lot of attention to his teammates and credit to his teammates.
I think it is important to give Jack his moment here. He has been through a lot and has worked really hard to put himself in a position to play like this and get these results.
On when he found out about William Nylander’s situation with possible Covid exposure:
We had a pretty good sense around lunchtime that there was a situation. Credit to Will for how he handled it in terms of being upfront and letting us know about a potential situation. The medical people take over from there and kind of let us know how to proceed.
Again, I think Will handled himself very well. It is important to point out that Will didn’t break any protocols or do anything outside of the rules or the protocols. It is a very unfortunate situation. We are going to support Will through this and we will have to wait for more information.
On TJ Brodie scoring his first goal of the season:
Huge goal for us. Our team was really coming and had a lot of momentum. Credit to him for jumping into space there. When you do that, you put yourself in a position if a bounce goes our way. You are there to capitalize. That is exactly what happened.
Credit to him. Great sense to be there, and credit to all of the guys on the ice to make that play happen. It was a combination of Engvall and Simmonds and Barabanov. All of that comes together with Brodie’s goal.
On the team’s 9-1-1 record when the score is tied after two periods:
Hard to really pinpoint. Each game has a bit of a life of its own. I would always just go back to the camaraderie and the spirit of our team. The team is confident in itself in those types of games. We believe we have a good team. The guys believe that. They just go out and compete and play.
Of course, right from the start of training camp, the focus was to be a team that can excel when things are difficult, whether that is playing from behind or having your best in the third period when the game is on the line. Those are all areas we need to grow as a team. So far, I think we have done a pretty good job of that.