Sheldon Keefe spoke to the media after his team’s 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens that dropped the Leafs’ record to 32-14-3 on the season.
On Jake Muzzin’s status after leaving the game with an apparent head injury:
I don’t have much of an update other than to say he is going to stay in Montreal overnight for observation. That is really all I have.
On what goes through his mind when he sees Muzzin down on the ice:
It’s terrible. It is about as bad of a thing as you see in the game.
On the number of goals against the team gave up on transition chances against:
It felt like [all] five [goals against]. We didn’t do a good enough job coming out of the zone. We just lost races. We weren’t connected when our D were up and involved. Our forwards let guys get loose. We just didn’t do a good enough job of that.
Two of the goals tonight came off of faceoffs. They just threw the puck into the neutral zone, got a bounce, and won a race. Sometimes, those things are going to happen, but we have to get above quicker.
On the team’s poor start in a rival’s building:
It was a continuation of how we played against St. Louis with how we started and how we defended. That is the most disappointing part regardless of who the opponent was tonight. We had some things we needed to clean up, and we didn’t.
I talked to our group about having a good third period — not focusing on the scoreboard and having a good third period. We have to play again tomorrow night. There are a lot of games ahead. Before long, you won’t remember this game. Let’s just try to get our game in order.
I liked our third period. There were a lot of really good things we did in the third period. Obviously, for Montreal, at that point in time, the game is well in hand and they are not pushing just the same as they were. But I liked our period there.
Sometimes these games, frankly, are needed. I look back at our game out in Pittsburgh earlier in this season. From there, we went to Carolina. That was really the start of some of the best hockey we’ve played all season for about a six or seven-week period of time. Sometimes you need these kinds of games as a wakeup.
We will go again tomorrow and need to start playing better.
On the play of the Tavares line:
They were doing enough good things to create really good chances. Today, I don’t think they had anything happening. I thought that line was really outworked by the opposition like most of our guys were. That line had a tough time today.
On playing the bottom six a lot late in the third:
Just to change it up. We have to play again tomorrow night. When the game is getting away on us, you want to make sure you are using the bench. As it turned out, the bottom six were our best lines. It was no coincidence it was those lines that got the goals for us in the third.
I thought those guys, in the second half of the game, played with a lot of urgency and took advantage of their minutes. We probably have some other guys we are looking to tomorrow.