Monday, May 23, 2022

Sheldon Keefe post game, Leafs 3 vs Islanders 1: “We didn’t look clean at all on our nets [in the third] And [Mrazek] They were stronger than anything thrown at him”

Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs Post Game

Head coach Sheldon Keefe spoke to the media on Saturday night after his team’s 3-1 win over the New York Islanders, which improved the Leafs’ record to 25-10-3 in the season.


On his team’s overall effort:

I thought it was a good effort by all our defense personnel tonight. I loved what our entire lineup did. Each line gave us good innings and good efforts. I loved my second period and how we took care of it and took a 3-1 lead. I thought we were in complete control of the second half of that second period, which is really cool.

The third period was not perfect in terms of controlling the game. We want to spend more time in their field like we did in the other, but I felt progress had been made and we defended really well. We didn’t see our nets clearly at all, and [Mrazek] They were stronger than anything thrown at him.

How Mitch Marner has helped the team since his return:

He is an important player for us, so having him back makes us an even deeper team. everyone better just slots in [when he’s there], He scored a big goal for us on the penalty kill – it’s too big for him to get that goal. The goals of special teams are very important.

Obviously, our power play was on from the start, but we couldn’t convert. After that they have a chance, and we need a kill, but not only do we get the kill, we get a goal. Being a plus one in special teams, no matter how you do it, is important. Mitch contributes a lot to that area.

On Reilly’s drama amid the absence of both Jake Muzin and Justin Hall:

You take Muzin and Hole out of the lineup and not only are you relying on the young guys to step up and play more, but Reilly and Brody are also going to do more. Minutes add up a bit, but they also get tougher—you’re not sharing the D-Zone faceoff as much as you have with Muzin and Hole.

Along with Brody, Morgan also has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. Morgan, in particular – as we’ve been talking – his game is on really good positions on both sides of the puck. We’ve talked about how his defense has improved, he’s keeping the game in front of him and closing really well. He is doing all that without deducting from his crime. You saw that in the second period with the big time target.

On Pierre Angwal’s recent performance:

I’ve really liked his game lately – the way he’s skating, hanging on to the puck, getting us out of our zone, and in neutral territory. He and Mikheev both have that ability—and Kampf, for that matter. Our field is a race for a puck, they have the speed and length to get on it quickly, and they get us out of trouble and offense. He is such an important player for us and he is playing with confidence right now.

We have used it in different situations. He’s a bit like Kerfoot in which he played all three [forward] The location for us this season and it has worked out well. He scored a big goal for us at the end of the second period. He has the ability to reach the nets and do well on it, so we are really happy with him.

When we get back to Kasse and we hope we’ve been healthy, another utility person like Pierre who can spin makes us deeper, no matter how the lines move. This is a good asset for us. He is gaining confidence and of course, I am gaining confidence in terms of using him in any role and in any line. more importantly, [I can use him] against any line.

On Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren’s performance in their second consecutive game as the second pair:

I thought they were the best today. I thought he played so hard in a game that was not easy to play. It’s a tall building, the fans are screaming, they’re working hard, and they’re tough on the net – it’s not an easy game to play against the Islanders, and those guys worked really hard.

perhaps most importantly, [they] The physicality and the traffic is played through. To me, this is real cruelty. When things are tough, people close in on you quickly and you know you’re going to get hit, are you still able to use the skills you have? Those people did. He pretended to be under pressure knowing that the contact was coming.

Many times they were actually coming to us and completing their investigation and physically attacking us. Those guys – and our whole team, I thought – stayed strong on the stick and we got out of our zone and rolled.

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