Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs practice
Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs practice

After Monday’s practice, head coach Sheldon Keefe discussed the status of all of his injured players (Calle Jarnkrok, Max Domi, Bobby McMann, and Joel Edmundson) and the plan for managing the lineup in the final two games of the regular season.

Practice Lines – Apr. 15

What is the outlook for Bobby McMann?

Keefe: He will not play in either of these last two games. We will see how he is. We have a week before we get going. We will see where he is as that approaches.

How about Max Domi?

Keefe: It’s similar. He won’t play tomorrow, and I won’t expect him to play in Tampa, either, but we will see where he is at.

We are not going to give you much at this time of year, but we will see where Max and Bobby are later in the week.

Did something flare up for Domi on Saturday?

Keefe: I wouldn’t say flare-up. It is more that he has been dealing with something that he felt would not affect him playing, but I don’t think that was the case necessarily. It is not any worse or anything. It is just about managing it.

How is Calle Jarnkrok progressing?

Keefe: Today was progress for him. We really only put him on the ice for the penalty-kill portion of the practice just to get him some reps there. He is not ready to play at this point, and he hasn’t had a full practice with us yet. It was positive to see him out there and being a little more involved with the different drills before practice began.

Does it look like Jarnkrok will be available for Game 1?

Keefe: That is still to be determined. I think he is more in a day-to-day situation, but unfortunately, we are running out of schedule. We will see where he is. He is going to be traveling with us.

Is Joel Edmundson progressing?

Keefe: Yeah, it looks good. He got through practice today. We will see where he is at tomorrow just to be sure, but practice was a positive sign for him.

John Tavares called Jake McCabe a warrior for the way he plays the game. His eye looks bad, but he is back in practice.

Keefe: I have described him very similarly throughout the season. He is in the mix in everything that is going on. He doesn’t give much for free, which puts him in harm’s way, and unfortunately, bad things can happen.

We are thrilled that he seems to be okay. It is just another example. I don’t know how many stitches his face has taken this season, but it has been a lot. I don’t know if they have been able to talk him into putting on a full shield or not.

He just keeps on going.

What is the plan in net for the final two regular-season games?

Keefe: Woll will go tomorrow, and we will take it from there.

Do you worry about running out of schedule while wanting to get everything set ahead of the playoffs?

Keefe: I don’t worry about it too much. I worry about injured players. You would like to have them back up and running again.

In terms of having things set, we have worked through a lot of different things. Our guys are comfortable whatever the situation is. In fact, I believe, as a group, we respond well when things move around. I am not concerned about that.

Right now, it is more about managing our group and finishing out the schedule.

With Domi out, as a coach, does a decision get much easier than just reinserting Mitch Marner to play with Auston Matthews?

Keefe: No, I don’t think so. That was an easy one.

Regarding load management, you seem to have more healthy defensemen than healthy forwards. Are you going to mix it up on D in the last few games?

Keefe: Right now, it looks like we will only have 12 healthy forwards going into tomorrow. We do have some depth on defense. I expect we will use everybody through two games.

What has made the group a confident road team, and what has made the team so effective on the road?

Keefe: It is difficult to pinpoint why it is. We just know it is a thing. We have performed well. I think our mindset has been good on the road and maybe not as good at home. Maybe there are different reasons for that. I don’t know what you would really be able to grab onto there.

I do know we are confident that we can have success wherever we play if we get to our game. We seem to have been able to get to our game more consistently on the road this season. To that end, wherever the games may be played, we will be confident going in, just knowing that we will have to have our game in order no matter what building we’re in.

What do you expect from players like Simon Benoit and Noah Gregor in their first-ever NHL playoff?

Keefe: The biggest challenge is to continue to be yourself. Do the things that you do. If you are in the lineup, you are in the lineup for a reason. No different than the regular season.

But it is a thing. Jake McCabe went through it last season. I know that it was different for him—something he felt he was prepared for, but then being out in the action, it was different. Jake is a competitor and finds his way through it.

I would expect the same for Benny, Gregs, and any of our other guys who are going through it for the first time. As the series wears on and the playoffs go on, you become more comfortable with it.