Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 6-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche that improved the Leafs’ record to 23-8-6.
On the team’s improved performance over Thursday’s loss:
I thought [we improved] — especially in the third period with the way we took care of the game there. That is a dynamic team where if you let them get momentum and make it easy on them — which I thought we did at the end of the first and second periods — you can see them come alive. The task was to make sure they didn’t do that in the third. I thought we did a good job of it.
On the team playing from in front throughout the game:
Big goal by Mitch to get us going. A really great goal there. Engvall scored us a big goal, too. I thought there were contributions all the way throughout. I thought we did what we needed to do. We scored a big goal on the power play and were clean on the penalty kill. A lot of good things here to help us win a road game to close out the trip.
On the team’s attention to detail in the game:
I thought it was just a cleaner game. I will point out some of the things that were teachable moments for us to close out the first and second periods, but aside from that, I thought there were a lot of good things in the game. We got contributions from all four lines and all six defensemen. We got saves from Murray when we needed them there and they had some of their flurries.
It is a good way to close out what feels like a real long road trip here. Even though it hasn’t been that long, it feels long with the distance we traveled and the three late flights to get into each city. It has been a challenge that way. I like the way the guys got it done tonight.
On whether he allows himself to reflect on the successes of 2022 for the Maple Leafs:
Not really, no.
On the decision to start Matt Murray:
We didn’t overthink it. Coming into the trip, we thought Murray was going to get two out of the three. We just stayed with that plan.
On Rasmus Sandin’s status and how close he is to returning:
I think he is close, yeah. He is close for sure. We will get another practice for him. We will get back home and make a decision from there based on how he is feeling and trying to do what is right both by him and his health and making sure he is ready to play a game again. I think he is really close again in that sense. We have some decisions to make in terms of how it affects the lineup.
On the difficulty of making a lineup decision on the blue line given how well everyone has played:
It is tough. The guys have done a good job. Conor Timmins has done a real nice job here and has built some positive momentum. It just so happens that the last two games of this trip are against former teams of his. For a guy who is trying to find his way, that gets in your head a little bit. I thought he bounced back real well from there in his game tonight. I thought our whole defense did. That is a challenge for sure, but it is a good problem for me to have.