JETS 4, LEAFS 3 (SO) — WHAT THE LEAFS SAID: "Freddie made some unbelievable saves — 2-on-0, breakaway, stuff like that — he made some unbelievable saves and we had some good looks too. Their goalie made a couple of nice saves as well." — AUSTON MATTHEWS.


On Auston Matthews’ performance tonight:

He was just feeling it. Feeling it early and feeling it all throughout the game. The thing that really stood out to me was just how he manufactured his first goal. It came from effort — effort defensively to get back. That was a big focus for us in the hockey game and he led the way for us there and he ever rewarded for it, so you love to see that.

On if he has to fight the urge to play Matthews too much:

Yeah. Yeah, I do. I just try and manage it, trying to not have others sitting for too long, but also trying to keep his rhythm and keep him going. TV timeouts, when you see him get a breather and you sense that he’s ready to go, it’s hard not to put him back out.

On if he liked what he saw from Dermott-Holl as a pairing:

Yeah, I thought they were good. I thought our whole team and all our defence, from what we focused on going into the game in terms of managing the neutral zone better were good. I thought those guys really lead the way in that. So, yeah, that was positive. We’re trying to get Dermot to take a step here and part of him taking the step is us giving him an opportunity and an additional opportunity, a better opportunity. Today was a good step for him there. 

On the idea of extending 3-on-3 overtime past five minutes:

I’m okay with it. The shootout’s a tough one. It’s a tough one. Overtime and the shootout really are toss-ups. It can go either way. Overtime being what it is you can dominate in overtime and then you make one mistake and it’s a breakaway the other way. Or you can get dominated and get a breakaway the other way or something like that. Once you get past regulation, all bets are off the most part.

On if he’s disappointed not to get more points out of the last two games:

Yeah, I’d say so. Today is a much different game than the Edmonton game. I thought our effort was there today. I didn’t think we did a good enough job of generating offence or putting the puck in good spots for us to generate offence. I thought we spent a lot of time trying to retrieve pucks and forecheck and stuff like that, and they did a good job of retrieving and breaking out and, as a result, we didn’t get much offence going. At the same time, I didn’t think we gave up very much defensively, and ultimately, the difference in the game is we give them the three gifts and they make good on it. We had one gift on the 3-on-1 score, but we miss two open nets in the first period and missed a breakaway in the second period. They make good on theirs and we certainly didn’t make good on ours. That’s really the difference in the game.


On tonight’s game being a tighter game than the previous meeting between the teams:

I thought we adjusted to each other a little bit, probably both teams. I thought we played well pretty much all game. It was a tight game

On the team’s resilience getting a late third period goal:

I thought it was great. I think guys reset and realized we were only down by one. Guys played hard for each other and obviously got one point out of it.

On if he enjoys the challenge of facing the scoring chances that come in overtime:

I’d rather win in overtime than lose in a shootout, obviously. If we have more chances, that’s what it is. But I’d like to see more overtime to be honest.


On playing with former Marlie teammate Justin Holl:

Yeah, great to get back with Hollsy. I’ve got a lot of [chemistry] with him. Nice to know I’ve got the confidence from the coaches to give me a little bit extra roll here tonight. It’s nice moving forward, but obviously wanted to get the two points so we’ll learn from our mistakes and get to work.

On if he’s grown use to expecting those goals from Matthews:

I don’t know about expect. If there were any cameras on my reaction I think you’ll know I wasn’t expecting anything. That was an amazing shot obviously and gave us a nice little shot to try and win the game.

On what his bench reaction was like:

I think I was about four or five feet in the air.


On if the two points was within reach even while trailing early in the game:

Yeah, I think we kind of had that belief all game long even after the first period. A couple tough breaks and then that third goal was just on us not taking care of the puck. I think we had the confidence throughout the game that we could come back and win this game. I guess it’s alright we got one out of two, but it would have been nice to get both.

On tonight’s exciting overtime with chances at both ends:

Yeah, Freddie made some unbelievable saves — 2-on-0, breakaway, stuff like that — he made some unbelievable saves and we had some good looks too. Their goalie made a couple of nice saves as well.


On if tonight was bittersweet:

Yeah, obviously a pretty tight hockey game. A couple mistakes put us behind a lot of the night and that’s on me. We obviously stuck with it and created opportunities and [Matthews] comes through again. Had some great opportunities in overtime and then a shootout and unfortunately didn’t get the point.

On Auston’s performance tonight:

Well, I think in general, the way he’s been playing has been like an MVP. He keeps coming up huge for us. Obviously, drives play and when he gets his opportunities, he knows how to put them in.

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