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

Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after the Maple Leafs’ 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers, which dropped the team’s record to 46-25-10.

On where the game went wrong:

They scored early in the second period on the first shift — the momentum shifts there, and the energy changes in the game. And then we just took too many penalties. It took away from what I thought was a pretty good hockey game for us.

Our penalty kill got lots of life and momentum for them. There were no real scoring chances — I thought we managed it really well — but there was a lot of time in our end, a lot of time with our best people sitting on our bench, and a lot of defending.

It is a funny game. We played a terrific first period. The game looks a lot worse than it is from there. We didn’t give up many scoring chances tonight — way less than in previous games despite what the shots say. But gave up too many goals, and we didn’t get enough chances or finish our opportunities from there.

On the intensity of the game:

You never know what you are going to get, but I thought it was a good, physical, and competitive first period. I thought we were right there. We controlled things in the first period.

They got going in that second period. The crowd gets into it. They get life and momentum. I thought we had to get to another level in the game emotionally. We didn’t get there. That is part of it.

That is what you are going to get in these kinds of games.

On Auston Matthews’ chances to hit 70:

Auston played well tonight. He had a ton of chances. I don’t know how many shots he need up with, but a couple were in behind the goalie. A lot of those have been falling for him. They didn’t fall tonight. But I liked a lot about his game.

On whether the goalie pull at 5-2 had to do with Matthews’ chase for 70:

It has less to do with Auston and more to do with the chance to work on our 6-on-5 and our 6-on-4 against a really good team. You take advantage of those opportunities, especially against a team that really challenges you.

Yeah, Auston plays a role in that, but for me, it is more about getting some reps in a very important part of the game with the playoffs approaching.

On whether Matthews will dress in Tampa:

We will talk about it. We have 12 healthy forwards.

On the goals for game #82 in Tampa:

I thought we played a good game today in a lot of ways, especially in that first period. I’d like us to start that way again. There are a lot of things we will take out of that first period.

We want our special teams to be good, which they were again tonight. That is a positive for us. The power play gets us going. The penalty kill was really overworked tonight, but they did a good job. Those are the kinds of things you’d like to see continue.

We want to get out of the game healthy, which it looks like we did tonight. To that end, it was a successful night, but obviously, I wish we got the two points.

On facing the Bruins in the first round:

Game #82 tomorrow.