Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers which dropped the Leafs’ record to 37-16-8.
On where it went wrong tonight:
We just didn’t play with any purpose or intelligence.
On how much he chalks it up to all of the changes in the team:
On the poor effort in a marquee matchup during a big week for the team:
To me, our opponent tonight was very focused and very committed to playing together to win a game. Our guys started fine, but just the way we started the penalty kill against the number-one power play in the history of NHL… We get our first exit and give it right back to them. We are not serious about winning when that is the case.
Those are our regular penalty killers. Those are our top people. That is how we started the game. It didn’t get much better from there.
On whether the effort is more disappointing when there were new faces in the lineup:
It is just disappointing. We aren’t going to make too much of it with the new guys or anything like that. I thought the new guys played fine here today. It was the guys we regularly count on that weren’t good enough.
On whether he will address the team after the loss:
I talked to them after the first and second. They know how I felt about the game. They know, too. We got beat by a team that played a lot better than us tonight.
On the team’s third period:
I thought we played a better third, but it is pretty much garbage time there. It is better than the alternative. With the way we were playing, we might’ve given up 10 if we stayed like that.
There were way too many clear paths to the net for them tonight. They defended really hard and didn’t give us the same for the most part. That is a big factor in why they pulled away in the game.
On whether the team is still in the process of trying to figure out how to be as consistent as Boston is:
I don’t know. Listen, we have played a lot of good hockey here. I watched Boston get outshot 3-1 by Calgary the other night in my hotel room. The only difference is that through that, they were resilient and find a way to win. That is what you need to be able to do.
We just didn’t do enough. We played into their best people’s hands early and didn’t give ourselves a chance to get going in the game.
Credit to the Oilers. They played hard. They defended hard. They didn’t let our best people get free. We gave them too many clear, clean looks. But it is not a reflection of who we are or what we are as a team.
On leaving Ilya Samsonov in the net through all five goals:
He needs to stay in there. It is going to be Joe Woll’s game tomorrow. This is the type of game against this type of opponent where he needs to stay in there.
On how close Matt Murray is to returning:
He is close. Tomorrow is a scheduled day off for him, but he has been doing really well. He’ll skate again on Friday and continue to progress from there, but everything has been positive.