MAPLE LEAFS 4, WILD 1 — WHAT THE LEAFS SAID: "I don't think we made as many plays as we're capable of. But it was just one of those games where it felt like ping-pong, especially early, and we were just able to capitalize on some good opportunities and then played with the lead pretty well. We were able to do a pretty good job on special teams. So, just stuck with it and just made it difficult for them." — JOHN TAVARES.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On the team’s defensive performance as efficient:

Yeah, I thought it was good — efficient is a good term to describe it. I didn’t think we gave up a lot defensively, for sure. We didn’t give up many shots or chances, especially in that third period when we expected them to push. I thought we took care of it pretty well there.

On if the way Nylander and Tavares play together is different from when Nylander and Matthews play together:

Yeah, there’s different dynamics at play there. I’ve liked it so far; the chemistry has been good. The nice thing I think that’s come out with the fact that we’ve moved things around here, since I’ve been here, is it’s giving me a pretty good taste of what different things look like. You never know what the season is going to bring and what each game is going to bring. It gives me a feel for different things. Obviously, we’ve used a number of different combinations so far and we like this one and we like a lot of others that have worked too.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (26 SAVES)

On the team’s performance tonight:

I thought we made some good adjustments and definitely played a really solid game. I think we got off to a lead and they had to force some stuff to get back into it. So I think we did a better job of not playing into their hand and forcing too much and made them come to us. I thought we did a good job.

On the forwards and defence working in unison and creating quicker breakouts:

Of course I think any time you can help each other out and make it easier for each other, it’s important. That can make the game less hard. I think guys will take less hits if we play it quicker and help each other out like that.

ALEX KERFOOT (1 GOAL, 100TH NHL POINT)

On William Nylander’s play of late:

He’s been playing really well for a long period of time right now. It’s fun to play with him. He makes plays, he’s hard on pucks and protects the puck down low. So, he makes a lot of stuff happen out there. It’s obviously a pleasure to play with him.

On what has led to the chemistry between himself, Nylander and Tavares:

Well, those two guys are just good hockey players. I think you put anyone on their wing and they’re going to have success. They spend a lot of time in the offensive zone. So, it’s just trying to read off them and make plays and they find space, they make good things happen. So I’m just trying to do my job.

WILLIAM NYLANDER (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)

On his line getting the first goal of the game from Kerfoot early in the first:

Yeah, it was a great play by Johnny [Tavares] being hard on his stick. There’s kind of a lucky play there in the corner where he lost the puck, but we were able to get possession of it. It’s a great play and a nice goal by Kerf.

On what has allowed he and Tavares to develop chemistry quickly:

I think it’s just that with some players, you just click automatically from the beginning.

On his pass to set up Matthews’ goal on the power play:

I just saw him backdoor and I kind of knew he would be open, so I just tried to get it over there.

JOHN TAVARES (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)

On tonight’s win:

Yeah, it probably wasn’t the prettiest. I don’t think we made as many plays as we’re capable of. But it was just one of those games where it felt like ping pong, especially early, and we were just able to capitalize on some good opportunities and then played with the lead pretty well. We were able to do a pretty good job on special teams. So, just stuck with it and just made it difficult for them. Just tried to play five inside and really have to make them earn their opportunities and the ice there and then, obviously, try to generate offense ourselves, try to keep the puck and wear them out and make them have to defend.

On the team finding a way to win despite not making as many plays as it can:

You have to have that to win in this league. There are so many good teams, so many good players. Things aren’t going to always go your way. You’re not always going to make the perfect play and mistakes happen and it’s just the nature of our league, our game. So, just staying with it and doing a good job. We regrouped, I thought, pretty well off the timeouts and got back to our game, did some good things and were able to get the win.

One thought on “MAPLE LEAFS 4, WILD 1 — WHAT THE LEAFS SAID: "I don't think we made as many plays as we're capable of. But it was just one of those games where it felt like ping-pong, especially early, and we were just able to capitalize on some good opportunities and then played with the lead pretty well. We were able to do a pretty good job on special teams. So, just stuck with it and just made it difficult for them." — JOHN TAVARES.”

  1. Keep it going 1967 was great 👍. I am waiting for 2020 & 2021! It will make my life full ! Lots of hard ache from friends 👫 accidents Toronto Leafs.
    Might not ever see another cup winners . Go Leafs Go !
    My team since 1957 till ???

    Like

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