Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the first game of the regular season.
On the early-season sloppiness that plagued the team’s performance:
It was early-season sloppiness, but I don’t expect that. With everything our team has been through together, that is unacceptable. We have to be way more responsible.
On whether the effort level was disappointing:
There was nothing wrong with our effort. It was just careless. Just careless. I expect more. Our group should expect more. Not good enough. We deserved to lose.
On Matt Murray’s performance:
I thought our guys left him out to dry. It is one of the most dangerous teams in the NHL on the rush ever since their coaching change last year. They have established themselves as one of the most dangerous teams on the rush. Caufield and Anderson — these guys are some of the most dangerous shooters there are off of the transition. We talked about it this morning and we talked about it before the game. We fed right into it.
On what the power play needs to do to break through:
Score. I mean, Matthews hit the post. Nylander was in alone a couple of times. We’ll be fine.
On the feeling after the team tied it late and then coughed up a goal with 17 seconds left:
The feeling is that you should be getting the game to OT. After we gifted them some goals, they gifted us one right back to tie the game. Willy made good on it. We have to get that game to overtime at the very least. Once again, we fed into their transition, and the puck was going the other way.
On the game-losing goal:
It started in the offensive zone. We had an opportunity to put the puck in deep and let the clock wind down in the offensive zone. We were trying to get it to the net. To me, it is a tough lane to get it through. That was one of our issues all night long — forcing pucks where there was no play and the puck should go to a better spot.
We have to let the clock wind down in the offensive zone. At the very least, they’re not going to be going fast-paced the other way. It starts there, and then obviously, the puck was bouncing around a little bit there. We gave it back to them.
From what we have been through as a team and as experienced of a team as we are, that is unacceptable.
On the lesson heading into the home opener tomorrow:
You learn pretty quickly that when you aren’t prepared to play the necessary way to win the game, you lose, no matter who you are playing. A quick turnaround tomorrow. We should have it out of our system. We’ll push on from here.