Sheldon Keefe, playoff press conference

After Wednesday’s practice, Sheldon Keefe discussed the team’s success on the road versus at home in the series, Joseph Woll’s big performance in Game 5, and the team’s defensive play through five games of the series.

What needs to change about your process and preparation to get a different result at home?

Keefe: We just have to accept and recognize that there is only one way for us to win in the playoffs, and that is how we played [in Game 5] with the approach that we took. No matter the venue, that is how you need to play. That is what is required.

What is your sense of the group coming off of the Game 5 win?

Keefe: The guys feel good about the performance and the result. We are happy to be coming in with another game to prepare for on the schedule. That is really it. We have earned another day here.

We are still in a battle. That has not changed. We got the opponent’s attention now. [Game 6] is going to be an even tougher night. There is one way to go about it, and that is how we have played in our last two road games. That is playoff hockey. That is required. We will look to bring that to the ice tomorrow.

How big of a confidence builder was it that Joseph Woll had a tough-luck goal against in the first period of Game 5 and didn’t let in another one after that?

Keefe: It is essential. Goals have been hard to come by in this series. Their goaltending has been great.

Sammy has played well. He made key saves for us at times as well — in Game 2, in particular, he made some big saves at important times there to help us win that game. Certainly, [in Game 5], as good as we felt about our game and as well as felt we played, it is a tight game all the way through. One mistake — which we did make some of — can be the difference. We could be having a much different conversation here today.

It is really important that we reduce mistakes as a team, and the goalie has to make some saves. They have been getting them at the other end all series.

What stands out about Joe Woll’s handling of the moment in the playoffs when things go wrong? He seems to stay so level-headed and calm.

Keefe: It is a good sign. It was a big game for him in Game 5 to go in and show that confidence. We are going to need him to continue with that. Our team is going to have to continue to do a job in front of him.

All of those things have to be connected. The team defense has to do its job. If there is a breakdown, the goalie has to do his job. That’s what we saw in Game 5. Joseph didn’t get tested a lot or get a lot of work in that first period, and it can be tough mentally when you go in, the team is playing really well, and you’ve given up one on two shots. He didn’t let that affect him. He just stayed with it. He didn’t let the next one by him.

Jim Montgomery mentioned that he is pissed off about the Game 5 performance and doesn’t accept it. What do you expect from the Bruins in Game 6?

Keefe: Whether he has words or not, I expect them to be at their best. They are a proud team. [In Game 5], we got their attention. We showed our character, what we are about, and what our purpose is in these games. We expect them to be better, just as they were when we beat them in Game 2, and they came in for Game 3.

I don’t think the coach’s mindset changes anything. They have lots of leadership on that team. That is the way playoff series go.

How important is it that you got to Jeremy Swayman for a couple of goals, or that Brad Marchand ended up in the penalty box, and Matthew Knies challenged David Pastrnak?

Keefe: They’re positive signs. We are in Game 5, so you start to think some things are going to start to go your way in that sense.

I certainly wouldn’t say we got to Swayman. He gave up two, and we had to battle pretty hard to get those and get to extra time. I don’t look at it in that sense in any way. We have to continue to work to generate more offense and make good on our chances. We should have way more goals than we have in this series. Our power play — again in Game 5 — had some really clean looks. We have to find ways to beat the goalie and get those over the line. It is a big difference maker in the series in the games that we’ve lost, and even the games that we’ve won have been closer than they needed to be.

What have you done well to bottle up David Pastrnak in the series and keep him relatively quiet?

Keefe: We have defended really well in this series—not perfect. At times, you are going to make mistakes, and guys like Pastrnak are going to stress you and find ways to get through. If you look at the goals we’ve given up to him, one is a faceoff, and one is a neutral-zone forecheck where we make a mistake, and he gets in behind us.

For the most part, we have done a really good job defensively. Our chances against have been really low and manageable. We have managed the puck well — not as good in Game and Game 4, but for the most part, we have done a good job of reducing our time there.

I have really liked our approach to defending in this series. That is not the reason we are in the deficit.

What made the Game 5 penalty kill the best one in the series?

Keefe: We pressured the puck well. We got clears. We didn’t spend much time in our end.

What does it mean to give the loyal fans another opportunity to cheer the team on at home in the playoffs?

Keefe: Quite honestly, it means nothing. We have to play the exact same way wherever it is. We are happy to give our fans another opportunity to play in front of them, but we have to approach the game no differently than we have on the road in terms of our plan and what is required. We don’t have to impress anyone. We need to win the hockey game.

To do that, there is a process and a plan that has been put in place. When we have done it well, we have been successful in this series. When we haven’t, we haven’t been successful. Going into this portion of the series, both teams know exactly what it takes. It is about execution and performance. That is where our focus needs to be.