Opening Remarks: Just before I take questions here – just moments ago I just got the terrible news of
the passing of Walter Gretzky. I want to pass along my condolences to the Gretzky family and really on
behalf of our entire organization. It’s a terrible loss of a great man that gave so many terrific things to our
game, to our sport. Certainly leaves a legacy behind that we will never forget.
Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: Did you know Walter at all? Had you met him through the course of
Sheldon Keefe: I have met him a few times. He certainly wouldn’t remember me. One meeting really
stands out actually in Pembroke. He came to visit with the NHL Old Timers at one point in time. I had
some time to chat with him there. Just, again, a great man. Gave so many great memories and,
obviously, Wayne’s legacy, but just really throughout his entire life gave so much to the game.
Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: On the game tonight, the players we spoke to seemed unanimous that
fatigue wasn’t a factor. From your perspective what did happen?
Sheldon Keefe: Just one of those games. We just through went it in Edmonton. There’s some games
where everything just goes your way and today was one of those games where everything went
Vancouver’s way. They certainly played hard and deserved it. When you play like that normally things do
end up falling your way. A night like this for us here tonight, it’s tough. On our first shot of the game we
put the puck in our own net, they get a power play goal and we don’t, we’re unable to make good on the
chances that we did get and we didn’t do enough to generate more chances to give us more
opportunities. They played a good, hard game. They got a lead and defended it well.
Q. Luke Fox, Sportsnet: Is there a significant adjustment you think you have to make for Saturday or is it
just a matter of getting a day’s rest and resetting?
Sheldon Keefe: I think a day’s rest certainly is going to help us. I think that’s a no-brainer. There’s an
adjustment to be made coming from one series to the next, that in itself is an adjustment. It’s a different
style of game out there and, again, it’s a different game just because the first of the game all of a sudden
you’re down 1-0. That makes it hard. We were the team that was getting leads in Edmonton. The game
changes. It’s a different game and they’re a different team, Vancouver, when they score first like that.
When they score it really gives them lots of confidence. We’re a team coming in here on a back-to-back
and having to dig ourselves out of a hole. Yet, I thought we did a good enough job again defensively to
give ourselves a chance to hang around and look to earn some points in the third period. They were
quicker and harder than we were in that third and seemed to have more in the tank.
Q. Kevin McGran, Toronto Star: Back to Walter Gretzky for a second – that story you told back in
Pembroke, I presume that’s when you were coaching there. Do you remember who was drawn to him?
Was it the kids? Was it your players? Was it the NHL old-timers? What kind of scene was it?
Sheldon Keefe: It was a bit of everybody, all ages. The lasting memory I have of that is just him sitting
around for what seemed for hours throughout the game signing autographs and taking pictures with
everybody that wanted one and chatting with anybody who wanted to talk too. It was pretty cool to see
someone of his stature, what he means to the game, what he’s brought to the game and to be all the way
out in Pembroke, Ontario and taking part in an event like that for people that wouldn’t normally get such
Q. Mark Masters, TSN: Joe Thornton didn’t play a ton down the stretch, did he get banged up or what
went into that?
Sheldon Keefe: No, he’s fine. We were chasing the game there and wanted to shorten the bench and
wanted to get Hyman back with Matthews and Mitch. I didn’t really intend it to really go the way that it did
in terms of really shortening it down to three but it was just the way it worked. Once we got down two I
thought we really had to press for a bit to try to get at least one and I just kind of lost him there. That’s
really it. Things will be back to the way we started here for next game.
Q. David Alter, The Hockey News: Were you encouraged by Jack Campbell’s assessment after morning
skate here that you may be able to use his services for Saturday or is it too early to tell?
Sheldon Keefe: I’d say it’s too early to tell. With our goalies here it’s been a day-to-day thing. We’re
really not knowing until the afternoon which way things are going to go. We’ve talked to Hutch and made
sure he’s always ready to go given the uncertainty around our guys. We’ll have to continue to evaluate as
we get going, but Fred felt good today so that was positive. He’ll be available for us next game.
Q. Luke Fox, Sportsnet: How much did fatigue play a factor in this given the heavy schedule you guys
have been on?
Justin Holl: I don’t think that fatigue was really the main factor and I think Vancouver executed their
game plan really well. They didn’t give us a lot of time in the offensive zone. They were hard on pucks.
They were moving it well. I think fatigue – we have played a lot of games recently, but that definitely was
not the reason. I thought we just got outplayed.
Q. Luke Fox, Sportsnet: Is there something you think you need to do differently for Saturday?
Justin Holl: Yeah, I think there needs to be more attention to detail maybe in the D-zone, cleaner
breakouts and we’re just trying to get our offensive zone rolling a little bit. I thought, again, Vancouver did
a good job bottling us up tonight. It’s going to be up to us to try to make the necessary adjustments.
Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: Kind of a weird goal to start, you made a bunch of saves after and
things seemed to be on the right track, but what happened on the second goal there?
Michael Hutchinson: The second goal is just the guy skating down the boards and they some guys
coming to the net for some net pressure. I flattened out a bit expecting the play for him to be to throw it in
front or try and bank it off me low for a pad pass with their guys driving the net. As I was going down into
the post, I saw his wrists open up and knew he was coming high. From there I just slipped off the post a
little bit. It was just a little bit of a mess for me. It’s definitely one I’d like to have back. It was an
unfortunate goal at an unfortunate time of the game.
Q. Mark Masters, TSN: I’m not sure how much you focus on the guy at the other end, but I’m wondering
if you have any overview or thoughts on Thatcher Demko. What stands out to you about him?
Michael Hutchinson: He played well tonight. We were able to get a lot of chances and he was right
there. He’s a talented goalie. He’s a big guy who moves well. He’s going to make us work for goals and
it’s one of those things. Like I said, I thought our team battled extremely hard and we were able to
generate some pretty good chances on him tonight.
Opening Remarks: I just want to pass along my condolences to the Gretzky family on the passing of Mr.
Gretzky. Obviously, a very, very sad day and just want to pass along my condolences to them.
Q. Gemma Karstens-Smith, Canadian Press: Wanted to ask you about your shot with about two
minutes left there. What did you see on that play? It looked like you had a little bit of frustration when
Demko made that stop.
Auston Matthews: I think I hit the post. The puck was spinning, I just tried to shoot it, hit the post, didn’t
Q. Gemma Karstens-Smith, Canadian Press: What’s it like to face a goalie Demko who’s coming into
his own this season here?
Auston Matthews: Demmer’s a great goalie. He’s big, takes up a lot of space and I think ever since the
bubble in the playoffs last year he’s really come into his own. I’ve been fortunate to get to know him a bit.
He’s an awesome guy and really great person. He played really well tonight. He made a couple of big
saves for them. He had some quality opportunities there, especially in the end. He came up big.
Sometimes you’ve just got to tip your hat.
Opening Remarks: First, condolences to the Gretzky family hearing of the passing of Walter. I think
obviously you notice his impact, not only on his boys playing the game, but overall in the hockey
community, what he brought to the game, more than just his boys playing and the impact that they made
on the game, obviously specifically Wayne. As a group, we recognize that and just want to give our
condolences to the Gretzky family and hockey community.
Q. Kevin McGran, Toronto Star: I wonder if you met Walter at any time along the way and if you have a
story you could tell about what kind of man he was.
John Tavares: I believe I did meet him. I was young. It’s hard to remember exactly time and place, but he
was always around the rinks and obviously was very involved in the game and, like I said, around the
hockey community. I think just his graciousness, big smile, and obviously a passion for the game. Just a
very gracious man from what I remember as a kid.
Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: With 30-plus shots tonight do you feel you guys had a chance to get
this one despite being on the wrong end of a back-to-back?
John Tavares: Yeah, we’re disappointed. I think we had a much better start than we had in our games in
Edmonton. We didn’t get the lead like we did, but I think the way we were able to get some pucks to the
net and have the puck a lot. Unfortunately, we just fell behind. It’s disappointing. I think we really wanted
to come in off of three really good games to build on that and not take this one lightly and really continue
to find growth and challenge ourselves. Obviously, didn’t go our way. We had some opportunities. We’ve
got to probably make it a little bit more difficult around their net, but regroup tomorrow and be ready for