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

Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after the Maple Leafs’ 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the ECQF playoff series.

On where the game went wrong for the team:

There are little things inside of the game that make the difference and give them the edge. They got a huge save early in the game at 0-0. Shortly thereafter, we make a mistake and give up a 2-on-1. That is the type of chance that we didn’t get throughout the game.

We started the second period with a couple of really good chances — some of our best chances in the game (Matthews, Jarnkrok). It was a chance to even the score. We didn’t do that.

A turnover on the breakout for a long shift ends up in our net. The penalties piled up, which allowed them to pull away in the game. Those are just little things inside of the game. That is what makes the difference.

At this time of year, you can’t make those mistakes. The teams that do end up on the wrong side of the game. Outside of those mistakes, in terms of the flow of the game, we are right there. We have our chances. We don’t make good on them.

There were too many little mistakes, such as the 2-on-1, the penalties, and the carelessness with our stick. That kind of stuff is not good enough.

On how the team handled the emotions of the game:

Careless penalties. Domi’s penalty is the one that I would call an undisciplined penalty. I understand what he is trying to do, but he crossed the line there, and you can’t do that. The high-sticks and stuff like that — that is just careless stuff. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the emotion.

In terms of the emotion of the game, the competitiveness, and the physicality, I have no issue with our game on that end of it.

On how the team can scale back the penalties:

We had one penalty—the Domi penalty—that is undisciplined in nature. On the others, we had two high sticks. That is just carelessness. At this time of year, you just have to be dialed in. You can’t let your stick get up like that. Sometimes, it is going to happen, but it happened too much tonight.

The Benoit penalty — the stick is a little careless for me early in the game there.

The McCabe one — I don’t know. You can probably find 40 of those in the game tonight. That one happened to get called.

I don’t look at it as us being undisciplined or anything. Just a little careless with the sticks, the Domi one aside. There are two different things there for us to sort out.

On the power-play struggles:

It was not good. It was really slow and disconnected. Not good enough.

On the impact of William Nylander’s absence:

He is a very good player who makes a big difference on our team. We have played without guys at different times and handled it very well. We didn’t handle it very well tonight. He is one guy we haven’t experienced playing without. We certainly missed him.

All of that said, he had nothing to do with us taking too many penalties or giving up a 2-on-1. On the power play, he makes an impact there.

As I said, we have handled that situation very well throughout the season. Some of our best games have come when our best people are out. It is tough to go into a playoff without him, but it is not the storyline for us tonight. There are other things we need to do a lot better.

On Ilya Samsonov’s performance:

From his perspective, I would characterize each of their goals as good goals. There were tough chances and shots. He made a couple of saves. There was the one flurry in the first period toward the end, where stuff was happening around the goal line. He battled and kept it out.

I don’t put this one on him, for sure. On the other hand, we only scored one. That is not good enough to help any goalie win.