Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens that ended the Leafs’ 9-0-1 points streak.
On the team’s slow start:
We clearly just weren’t ready to go today. That is my job. It is the coach’s job to get the team ready to play. We weren’t ready to play. That one falls on me.
On Nick Robertson’s return to the lineup:
I thought he did great. He moved his feet. He competed. He was hard on the puck. For a guy playing his first full NHL game here this season, I thought he did a nice job for us. I didn’t get him out there a whole lot once we were really kind of chasing the game, but I was happy with his effort.
On how much of the power play’s struggles (1 for its last 36) is between the ears and confidence-related:
I’d say about 100%.
On whether David Rittich will start tomorrow against Calgary:
We will make that decision tomorrow.
On the team’s play in the first period and the message in the first intermission:
We weren’t ready to play. It wasn’t very good. We were playing against a Montreal team that played as close to a flawless game as they can get in the first and third periods, probably.
I liked how we pushed back in the second. I thought it was as poorly as we have played in a long time. Of course, it is a good sign that the game could’ve gotten away on us and it didn’t. We climbed our way back and made it 2-2.
When the game is over now and you reflect on it, special teams really could’ve been the difference. They were plus-one today. We didn’t get one on the power play. We could’ve pulled a point out of this, perhaps, if we were able to do that.
That is a good sign. We played as poorly as we did, and yet we are right there in the game. That is the positive coming out of it.
Clearly, right from the drop, we weren’t good enough. As I said, that is on me and the coaching staff. We have to do a better job of having our group ready to play. The good news is that we get right back at it tomorrow.