Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 3-2 overtime loss in Game 6.
On the poor starts in two consecutive games:
Both games Montreal had a real hard push at the start and we couldn’t get through that — couldn’t breakout, couldn’t get momentum and life to get through it. Obviously, the crowd and their push and the start was significant for them. Obviously, we’ve got to be a whole lot better there.
On preparing for Game 7:
Just got to be ready to play. We’ve got to have our absolute best, clearly.
On his confidence and thought process during the goalie interference challenge:
I wouldn’t say it [was] high. [There was] a lot going on there in a short amount of time. Obviously, there are other views that I’m not seeing at the bench that we felt [made it] worthy of a challenge.
There’s a precedent there — the piece we were looking at was at the end with Toffoli standing in the crease. We thought there was a precedent there where the goalie is trying to get back into his crease but can’t.
We weren’t really sure how that one would go, but we thought given what was happening in the game and the significance of the goal, we thought in the moment that it was worthy of a challenge and had the confidence in our penalty kill to end it done like it has all series for us. Obviously, it ends up being a five-on-three so it [didn’t] go the way we wanted it to.
On how they’ll deal with more pressure going forward:
I think you have to ignore it. You have to play. I don’t think pressure has anything to do with it at this stage here — I don’t think that’s a factor. The games have gotten harder. Montreal has gotten better, and we haven’t dealt with it well.
On the Matthews line:
I thought they worked really hard. Obviously, they didn’t get enough done.
On whether he’s worried about past Game 7 losses going into Monday’s game:
I’m not worried about that, no. Like I said, I don’t think pressure is an issue here. It’s just a matter of playing a hockey game where we elevate our play.
We did that at times here tonight. We controlled the game in that overtime. There were periods in that game. I thought in the back half of the third period we were starting to find ourselves and we were going okay. The second period has been a strength for us in this series, but that’s two games in a row now it hasn’t been.
Those are the kinds of things you’ve got to focus on — we’re not focusing on any of the other things that are frankly irrelevant.
On whether he feels his team is intimidated by Carey Price:
Clearly, he’s playing very well and he’s the backbone of their team. We know that going in. I don’t feel like our guys are intimidated by any means, I think, when you look at it, we’re not getting a great deal of great looks at the goaltender, especially here tonight. We’ve got to do a better job of getting inside and making it hard on him.
You look at a lot of goals and the way they’re going in — they’re hitting off of bodies; redirections, and stuff like that. We’ve got to focus on more of those things.