Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s Game 1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
The latest update on John Tavares’ condition:
He is conscious and communicating well. The tests that he has had so far remain clear. He is going to remain overnight in the hospital to undergo further tests. That is what I have right now.
On how the team reacted to the terrifying nature of the Tavares incident:
To be honest, it was difficult. I have experienced a lot of different things and tough injuries in my time as a player and a coach, but in an empty building like that, it was probably the most uncomfortable situation that I have been a part of on the ice.
It was really tough to get through. Our players were rattled and concerned. I was obviously very concerned as well. I am happy to hear that things are settling down and all of that. It was a very tough moment.
We had ample time to settle and regroup. I thought it took us quite a bit of time to find ourselves after that. It is a difficult situation for everyone.
On the message at the intermission after the Tavares injury:
I just addressed the group and gave the guys an update on how John was doing. I just let them know that he is in good hands and we have to press on as a team. That is our job. That is what we need to do. We have to get refocused and everybody else has to step up for our team and for John. That is really the message. You have to push on.
On what the team will need to make up for the loss of Tavares:
In terms of losing John, obviously, it is a big loss for us. But we have lots of depth. Obviously, we made a lineup change to adjust to it. All of our guys are going to have to play better. It is a big loss. It is our captain. Good teams overcome these types of things. That is going to be on us here now.
On the number of puck-over-glass penalties and whether it was panic or bad luck:
A little mix of both. The Holl one was pretty accidental — just trying to knock a puck down and it gets out. On the other two, there was a little bit of a sense of panic. I’d like to think those aren’t going to occur again. Unfortunately, they happened here tonight.
The special teams really broke up the game a lot. It’s not what you expected in a playoff game, but you have to adjust to it. Our penalty kill did a really good job. I thought our power play, early in the game, was really good and looked really dangerous. But we need one to go in for us there, obviously. It is a big difference in the game.