HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On if tonight’s finish changes the narrative of the game:
I think it’s a different narrative and leaves a different taste in your mouth on how the game finished for sure. I thought we didn’t play a great game by any means but we’re right there throughout the hockey game. Then I thought we let it get away on us there at the end. First of all the 3-1 goal and then our response, our reaction after giving up the empty net goal was not what we want to be about.
On if he needs to give the team a scolding:
We talked. Normally I would not go in after a loss or a game like this but I felt like it was important to address that situation. We want to be a team of high character and that cares for one another and I thought we just left our goaltender completely out to dry there and stopped playing so that’s not a good sign for our group but hopefully it is the shakeup that we would need. I think as I look back on the game as that third period is unfolding, I think we saw two different teams. One that has kind of figured out how to win and know what their recipe is and another on our side that’s trying to find its way. I think that’s the difference in the game.
On if he noticed a lack of focus towards the end of the game:
The third goal is pretty dejecting obviously. I thought that goal was itself indicative of different points in the game where the game was going along just fine and then we lost our focus and our defensive play lacks. We have breakdowns that open the game and give them chances. That goal is dejecting for sure but we got a chance, we’ve got good people on the ice, a chance to go an make a push but it doesn’t happen for us. We put our other line out on the ice and they don’t have a response either so it’s a tough way to go but in the big picture it’s probably a better way for things to finish for us to get the shake up perhaps that we need before tomorrow’s game.
More on the loss:
There were a lot of good things in the game I thought as well and we’ll focus on those as much as we can. There was some progress for us in a lot of areas but the reality is, it’s a 60 minute hockey game and there will be a lot of attention put on what happened after the third goal rightfully so but there’s a lot of other things where we’ve got to be better throughout the game and stay consistent every shift.
On putting Matthews out with Tavares at certain points in the game:
It’s something I’ve frankly wanted to do throughout my time here but circumstances haven’t quite been right. Today for different reasons, what was happening in the game, coming off a penalty, the fact we needed a goal, we just kind of mixed it up that way.
On the play of the first and third line:
Both that line and the third we didn’t get what we wanted out of that but they were a little out of sorts. There was good moments for each line but it wasn’t clicking or rolling like we hoped it would.
On if this is a teachable moment for himself and the players:
Well I think just over time, get to know the guys a little better and get to know the tendencies, the strengths and weakness and all those types of things. There are certain things you want to tackle on a team basis in terms of structure and all that and there are other things you want to tackle individually. I think overtime I’m starting to learn that a little bit of where we’re at and we’ll continue to make strides, but we don’t have a whole lot of time here. We’re going to get right back at it with a very good team waiting for us in Toronto so we’ve got to regroup here really quickly and hopefully the way this game finished will leave a sour enough taste in our mouth that we’ll be coming out tomorrow and show we’re a different group.
JOHN TAVARES (FIVE SHOTS ON GOAL)
On tonight’s loss:
Tight hockey game, we were able to battle back and tie it up but just not good enough execution throughout probably the second half of the game. I don’t think we generated enough in the middle of the ice or making it hard on their goaltender. Tight hockey game but unacceptable by us kind of letting it get out of hand the way it did. We’ve got to play a lot better no matter the score right till the end, especially in front of our goaltenders.
On going up against a hot Philadelphia team and what made them difficult to play against:
They’re obviously feeling pretty good about themselves, so they’ve got a lot of confidence in the way they’re playing and how they’re trying to win hockey games. They’ve got some pretty good defence who’ve got some experience and move the puck well, whether it’s breaking out of their own end, holding the line and you know I don’t think we did a good enough job finding ways to break that down and making it hard on them and not feeding their transition game or letting those guys get up the ice. It was pretty tight overall but they obviously stayed patient with it.
AUSTON MATTHEWS (21:20 TOI)
On how Philadelphia made it difficult tonight:
I thought they did a good job of keeping us to the outside for most of the game but I felt like when we did get on the inside we had some good looks but weren’t able to capitalize. They did a pretty good job.
On a frustrating finish to the game:
We tied it up then gave up a goal, we feel like we’re still kind of in it and have a chance to pull the goalie. We still had a couple minutes left but we let in that empty net goal and I mean we can’t just fold like that. It’s unacceptable to do that to our starting goalie, a guy that’s stolen games for us. He’s been a brick wall for us all year. That’s just unacceptable on our part. We can’t just fold, that’s unacceptable, we just let him out to dry, breakaway, 2-on-1’s, odd man rushes all in the last minute and suddenly the score is 6-1 so that’s on us. That just can’t happen.
TRAVIS DERMOTT (1 GOAL)
On his goal tonight:
Yeah he obviously played a pretty good game against us. It was just tough getting pucks by. The plan on that faceoff was to just try and get the puck to the net and we were going to have some guys crash the net and lucky enough he kind of lost it up high I guess and lucky bounce in.
On what happened towards the end of the game:
I think even going back before that I had a tough pinch there and they ended up scoring on it and that was kind of tough to come back from that after that play. One goal game and I make a bad play and the game gets away from us pretty quick so I’ll take responsibility for that. I think we deserved and owe Freddy a better showing than that after a breakdown even if it seems like you might not be able to get back in the game.
FREDERIK ANDERSEN (24 SAVES)
On the finish to tonight’s game:
I don’t really worry about me, I worry about the way we play for the logo on the jersey. I think we’ve got to be more proud than that. Hopefully we can respond and show what kind of character we have.
On an uncharacteristic finish to tonight’s game:
We’re still trying to figure out how to play this new system. Once they got the two-goal lead, you saw what happened but it’s up to us now to respond and move forward. I think this is done with and we’ve got a game tomorrow and we have to respond.