Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs post game
Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs post game

Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators which improved the Leafs’ record to 44-20-9.

On the team’s performance:

Really good. We’d like to score more with the chances that we had to extend the lead and make it a little more comfortable. You leave them within striking distance. That is why they have a chance to get a push in the third.

Our penalty kill gave up more than I would like today in terms of chances.

At five-on-five again tonight, defensively, I thought we were excellent. In fact, that is four slot shots against at five-on-five. That is the lowest we have given up all season.

On Joe Woll making some early saves to keep the game even:

Probably the perfect way for Joe to enter the game. Credit to Nashville, who came out hard. They were forechecking well and were on top of us there.

Clearly, their game plan early on was to shoot the puck from everywhere. They even registered a shot from three feet below the goal line at one point.

They were shooting from everywhere. It got Joey engaged in the game and inflated the shot clock a little bit.

I liked how our guys just stayed with it, recognizing it is a 60-minute game. Once we got through their forecheck, I thought we didn’t look back from there at five-on-five.

On goal-scorer Alex Kerfoot’s performance on John Tavares’ line:

Such a great goal for him. First of all, it was an unbelievable play by Tavares through the neutral zone to put him in that spot. Good finish by him. That is two on the trip for him.

He just continues to be a responsible guy defensively. I thought that line really needed a sort of stabilizer defensively to play with them. Kerf did a good job of that and so happened to score a goal.

I liked the way he responded in that position.

On the decision to insert Wayne Simmonds into the lineup:

It’s back-to-back, and we’re wanting to go to 12 and 6 tonight to lessen the load on the forwards a little bit. That is really it.

I thought Wayne did a good job for us when he played in Ottawa last week. It was a good chance to get him back in.

On the timeout in the third period:

I didn’t really have any concerns with how we were playing other than that we took a penalty there. That was really anything that they had going on that looked threatening — it was coming off of their power play.

Really, it is just trying to slow the play down a little bit in terms of momentum. You’re trying to do your best to manage that and get our guys refocused before going back out.

I loved how we generated a penalty, and our power play went out and very calmly got us the third goal, which is ultimately the difference in the game. I really liked that piece.