LEAFS 4, OILERS 2 QUOTES

SHELDON KEEFE

Q. Chris Johnston, Sportsnet: What did you like most about what you saw from that Kerfoot line tonight?

Sheldon Keefe: I thought they skated well. It took them a little while to get going in the game I thought, like it did our whole team, but they were on the puck hard. What I liked most is that they scored us a 5-on-5 goal. Those have been hard to come by and it’s good to get one.

Q. Mark Masters, TSN: How did you feel the team handled the offence/defence balance that we were talking about in the days leading up to this one?

Sheldon Keefe: I thought it took us a little while to really settle into that proper balance. I thought we were pushing offensively early in the game. We did generate some good looks in that first period where we gave up too much. I thought we gave up more in the first period than we gave up in the entire game the other day.  Over time, through the game, I thought we settled down in that area. That was a really good sign. I think what I liked most about the game is just when we go into it without two very important players for us, a game where we get down on a shorthanded goal the way that we did, responded right away. That was a positive sign for us. We get ahead, give up the lead early in the third, get a power play and just make good on it and then finish the job. Really good signs, just how despite having, in Engvall and Brooks’ case, two guys that haven’t played at all, and Barabanov, a guy who hasn’t played much, coming into our lineup. I thought that we were steady all the way through and I thought Fred Andersen was outstanding. That gave our group confidence to just keep playing. 

Q. Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun: McDavid ties the game there, can it be a lesson going forward to see what you guys did from that point on and take the lead back and clamp down?

Sheldon Keefe: Like I said, I just like that we didn’t get rattled by that. I have to go back and watch the whole sequence of how it all happened, but I thought we actually did a pretty good job of clogging the neutral zone there, we forced them to dump it, and we didn’t get back onto the puck and breakout. They get it to the top, they shoot it and tip it. We can do a better job on the stick on the tip, but it’s one of those sequences that it happens. I just like how we shrugged it off and kept playing. We earned ourselves a power play and then guys made good on it. Whether it’s goaltending, penalty kill, power play, our best players here today – Mitch, his efforts, JT to get a tip on the winning goal, good shifts and efforts that we got from the guys that came in the lineup, I thought Wayne Simmonds had his best game. There was a lot of really good things to take out the game that will help us build from here.  

Q. Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press: A lot of people were expecting fireworks in this two-game set, it didn’t really happen. Were we wrong to expect that? What did you see? Why was it so tight?

Sheldon Keefe: I think if you go back and watch the first seven minutes of the first period I don’t think it was very tight and Fred was great. He kept us in it early there, I thought. That or we were just able to get back at the last second and break things up. Things were pretty loose early on. I thought as the game settled in structure kind of took over again. You’ve got two teams that are trying to improve defensively and not be so loose and free in terms of offensive chances, defensive chances. In our case tonight especially, you take two thirds of your top line out, and someone like Auston and what he means to our team, we’ve got to play a little bit differently and the group’s got to recognize the important of every shift and how important it is to stay with the structure and stay with the plan.  I thought we did that really well today. I thought our best guys led us. Big time play from Will to make that pass to Vesey who finished it. That’s another big 5-on-5 goal from Jimmy Vesey for us. That’s a great sign. Just a real good team win, which we knew going in it was going have to be. 

Q. Eric Francis, Sportsnet: Can you talk a little bit about what TJ Brodie has brought to your team that maybe you guys were hoping he would fill a void with?

Sheldon Keefe: He’s just been a real steady presence for us. Whether it be defensively or offensively with how he moves the puck. Just been a really steady, consistent, low maintenance guy who’s come in. Like every player there’s an adjustment period, but he looks really comfortable. When I talk about our team not getting rattled or fazed by anything that might have occurred in any of our games, he epitomizes that. He just goes out and plays. If he makes a mistake or the team makes a mistake, it doesn’t rattle him. He just goes out and plays his next shift. That’s really valuable on defence, in particular. 

FREDERIK ANDERSEN

Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: You passed Curtis Joseph in wins tonight in franchise history. Do wins like this mean that much more to you when they come second half of a back-to-back in a game that sets the tone for you guys heading on the road?

Frederik Andersen: I’ll start by saying it’s obviously cool to be in the same sentence as a guy like Cujo. He’s a phenomenal person, obviously enjoyed seeing him around here under normal circumstances. Playing a lot of games and being part of a good team you’re going to end up with wins and I’m really happy about the way we responded. The second part of the question, obviously we wanted to respond on the last game and take two points back. Obviously, every single game is a division game so we knew we had to respond to not dig ourselves a hole. I like the way we came out. 

Q. Dave McCarthy, NHL.com: If I’m not mistaken, Cujo was a guy that you really idolized growing up. I believe you wore his pads back at the Centennial Classic. Is he a guy that you really followed growing up?

Frederik Andersen: It was probably a little bit hard to say that because in Denmark we didn’t get much NHL, but obviously with the pads being his brand and I would see them, they would be the ones being sold in the stores in Denmark and I know my Dad played with the same colours. He’s one of the greats in Toronto and it’s special, like that game back in my first year, to be able to give him a little respect. It’s cool. 

 TJ BRODIE

Q. Eric Francis, Sportsnet: How has your role changed in Toronto as opposed to the role you played here in Calgary?

TJ Brodie: I think it’s pretty similar. I’m willing to play wherever they want me to play and wherever helps the team the most. That’s the way I’ve looked at it throughout my career and the way I’ll continue to look at it. 

Q. Eric Francis, Sportsnet: Have you touched base with many of the guys in the room? I know you’re tight with a ton of them.

TJ Brodie: Yeah we’ve talked here and there. Obviously, since the season’s started I haven’t really talked to them, it’s been a bit chaotic with the schedule, but it will be good to face off against them.

Q. Eric Francis, Sportsnet: How much have you thought about your return to Calgary either during the summer or of late?

TJ Brodie: Yeah I didn’t really think about it at all. My main focus has been here, getting to know the guys, getting to know the systems and create that chemistry here. It’s something I didn’t really worry about. I figured I’d think about it when the time comes.  

ADAM BROOKS

Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: Adam, you were drafted five years ago, a long road to this moment. To score your first goal, how does it feel?

Adam Brooks: Yeah, it definitely feels good. I think there was a lot of pressure taken off me. That was the first game I’ve played in 330 days or something like that. It’s been a long time. It was nice to get that bounce and nicer to come from a guy like Jason Spezza. It was a lot of fun . A great moment that I’ll remember forever obviously and just happy that I got the opportunity to be out there with those guys.

Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: Where’s the puck going?

Adam Brooks: I’m sure my parents will steal it and put it in their basement but I’m not even really sure where it is right now.

Q. Mark Masters, TSN: How would you describe what it was like waiting? You mentioned the time off, what was it like trying to stay focused and all of that?

Adam Brooks: Yeah, it’s definitely hard. A lot of guys obviously were in that situation where they didn’t play for a long time. Whenever you get back into a situation like that where you get to play, the first period or the first little is going to be hard I think. No matter how hard you train and no matter what you’re doing, whenever you get into game mode it’s always a little bit harder and a little bit of a step up so you know it was nice to get out there and get my feet wet. Obviously I don’t know what’s going to happen going forward but I was happy to get the opportunity. Like I said, fortunate to get a bounce like that.

Q. Mark Masters, TSN: What will you remember most about that goal, that sequence?

Adam Brooks: I think for me it’s pretty cool to play with a guy like Spezza. My first game ever he was on my wing as well. I got him to sign a stick for me. So to say that he assisted on my first goal, a guy that’s played for that long and of that caliber, it’s a pretty cool moment for me. Just the whole thing was pretty exciting.

JOHN TAVARES 

Q. Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun: You were talking this morning about guys having to elevate their games and that sort of thing. Did that happen tonight?

John Tavares: I think certainly to get a good hard fought win like that you need the whole group and some guys got new different opportunities, more opportunities. When you come out on the right side of it, I thought as the game went on we got better. We were a little loose with some opportunities they created in the first period, but other than that I thought, we found our game, found our rhythm and it was hard fought. They competed hard and certainly guys stepped up and got a big bounce back.

Q. Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun: Your thoughts on heading out west for a week now and two with the Flames and two with the Oilers and what you expect?

John Tavares: Yeah, I guess we’re Alberta bound – just try to build some momentum off a decent week here. Each game is so important, we know everything is inner divisional so it doesn’t stop. You can’t take your foot off the gas and we’ve got to keep improving. We’ve got a real challenge going into Sunday with the travel, the turnaround and the amount of hockey we’ve already played. Mentally and physically, we’ve got to respond, get ourselves ready to go and know that we’ve got a tough one with our first time seeing the Flames. It should be a fun trip. I don’t think we’ve got any back-to-backs so try to take advantage of those days in-between and make the most of this trip. 

JIMMY VESEY 

Q. Mark Masters, TSN: Can you take us through the goal?

Jimmy Vesey: Yeah, I thought it was a good forecheck by our line. Kerf made a nice anticipation play and picked it off and found Willy who made a great play to me. You know, I think a lot of people thought that he would have shot that puck but froze the goalie and slid it over and I just tried to bury it.

Q. Mark Masters, TSN: What was it like getting reunited with Alex [Kerfoot]? We know you guys go way back.

Jimmy Vesey: I thought it was great. You know we’ve had some sporadic shifts from the games before this. It was great to play with him tonight. I think we still have a little bit of that chemistry. He’s a pass first guy and I thought he was looking for me and Willy tonight so it was nice to play with him and obviously, nice to get a goal.

Q. Josh Clipperton, Canadian Press: What you thought of the team’s performance overall, missing Auston, missing Joe and how you guys grinded one out after the disappointment Wednesday.

Jimmy Vesey: I thought it was a great effort by the group. Like you said, no Auston, no Jumbo, guys came and stepped up. You know obviously Brooksy, first NHL goal and I thought Barabanov came in and looked a lot more comfortable and played a really good game for us. I thought it was a gutsy effort. We didn’t like our game the other night. It’s good we didn’t have to wait to play those guys again and came back and got it done tonight.

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