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

Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after the Maple Leafs’ 6-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers which improved the team’s record to 40-20-9.

On Ilya Samsonov’s status after leaving the third period injured:

It looks like he is going to be fine. It is not anything near what it appeared or what I thought it might have been. I am not going to get into too many details now, but it looks like he is going to be fine and won’t miss any time.

On the team shutting down the Oilers’ top line for the most part and building a big lead:

I thought that our guys just competed hard tonight. We played with lots of attitude. I really thought that our defense — in particular, Edmundson and McCabe — really set the tone for the team tonight with how they competed.

Our penalty kill gave us life in the game in that first period. We have been talking a lot about special teams — and I am sure it will come up regarding the third period — but we were not in the position we were if we didn’t get it done in the first period with the kills, especially with the first one at the start of the game.

For us to find our way through that as well as the second one and then our power play to come through was huge a moment in the game.

On Pontus Holmberg and Bobby McMann’s two-goal games:

Both guys were terrific tonight.

I felt Holmberg had some good things going on, which is why I moved him up to play with Auston. It paid dividends right away. He was just good all game. The second goal was another great goal and finish by him.

Bobby, as we know, has been excellent here. He finished some great plays again tonight.

Throughout the lineup, I thought we had great efforts from everybody.

John Tavares made some terrific plays. His play on the first goal got us started in the game. It was a terrific play by him. Auston’s play to set up Holmberg’s first goal, getting the puck to Max coming off of the forecheck… That was Tavares and Matthews doing things off the forecheck to get us going here.

It was great to see those guys come through in those types of moments, and then other guys finishing plays and scoring the goals.

As I was talking about, the efforts from our defense set the tone for us, and our penalty kill was really great. Because of that, you are able to build a big enough lead that they don’t have enough time on the clock to come back.

On Joel Edmundson’s big hit on Connor McDavid on the PK:

There was the Edmundson one. McCabe had one on Kane as well.

It wasn’t even just the contact. It was the level of competitiveness on the puck and the battles to come up with the puck. A lot of it was on the penalty kill. On faceoff scrums and the things where we are coming up with pucks, that is what we need.

When we play that way and compete like that, we are a hard team to beat. We are capable of great things. Efforts like that bring up the group, and then you can get by without some key people. That is what you want to see.

On Tavares’ uptick in offensive production recently (nine points in his last five games):

He has just been focusing on the things that help our team win games. The offense comes with it.

The game starts tonight with him retrieving a puck on the forecheck, seeing a play over his shoulder, and executing the play. It is a forecheck puck. He is doing his job at that moment, and then his skill to make a play is there.

He is just playing hard and consistently. I was really going back and forth between Tavares and Matthews in my mind about how I was going to handle the matchup tonight with McDavid. I thought it was going to be a committee approach with Kampf’s line in there as well because they play so much, the pace, and the nature of our lineup tonight. Quickly, I thought Tavares’ group with Bobby and Will could really do the job for us. And they did.

It is those types of efforts, and then the offense comes. Chances come when you are above the puck and checking. John is elite at winning pucks back.

Scoring is a hot and cold type of thing. He has lots of confidence. He is rolling and making plays. But it is coming through doing the right things as a captain to help our team win games.