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

Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after the Maple Leafs’ 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers which improved the team’s record to 38-19-8.

On the team’s performance:

We got a great goal to start the game and get us going well. The first couple of shifts weren’t the best, to be honest, but that was a great goal and a great sequence through there. It was a great pass by Auston and a great finish by Bert. That is a great moment to get us going, score early, and play ahead.

I thought we played well. We defended well. We did the things that we wanted to do tonight in terms of not allowing the big chance. This team gets a lot off the rush — a lot of breakaways and 2-on-1s — and they get behind you a lot. I thought we managed that really well tonight, but it wasn’t perfect.

Goaltending was a factor here. Sammy made great saves for us. We got some that I am sure their goalie coach doesn’t love on the other side. In the second period, they made the goalie switch and the guy made some big saves. They scored, and it was a game there.

Overall, I like how our guys stayed with it and then pulled away in the third period while still not giving up much. We talked after the second period about the break that we had and taking some time away. We expected that we would have a lot in the tank. The third period should be our best. I thought it was a pretty good one.

On what gave him the confidence to believe that Tyler Bertuzzi was going to turn it around offensively:

He has been a good player in the league. Probably the biggest thing is the number of chances that he had that just weren’t going in the net for him. He got another one taken away tonight. I think that makes it three that have been taken away from him that I can recall this season.

It is good to see. He is an important piece of our team.

On whether this is the most dialed-in Ilya Samsonov has looked:

This season for sure. He is more like himself as we came to expect last season. It is a huge part of our group right now.

On Calle Jarnkrok’s status:

It looks like he is going to miss some time. We are not going to know the extent fully until we get back home. That was a factor in the game tonight, too. We lost him. We are already without Marner. Now you are really trying to pull together on the right side.

You are trying to manage the bench and manage the minutes. It caught up to us a little bit in the third period. Even in the third period, we were trying to double up some of our third and fourth-line guys. We got the power play. You don’t want to put the top guys out, but the other guys were exhausted. That is the effect of losing guys as we have been.

Just as we have had others step up for Mitch, we will have to do similar with Jarny if he is going to miss a period of time.

On whether Rocky Thompson was upset about the Leafs‘ star players playing on the late power play:

Yeah, understandably. I had no intention of doing that. I already reached out to the other side. We had tired people on our bench. I have to manage my team and my bench at that time, too. They got a shortie out of it.