Q. Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun: This third period started out okay, but what did you see from your vantage point as the Canucks got the power play going and things unfolded from there?
Sheldon Keefe: I thought we had an excellent start to the third period. Our second period was not very good at all and then started off the third period really well. All the things that we wanted to do with a lead and I thought we gave ourselves a few chances even to extend the lead and couldn’t get it to go in. We shoot the puck over the glass and give them a free power play, and then we just don’t get the kill. Obviously, we didn’t get any kills against Vancouver here in these two games and it’s a huge part of the game, but it’s a tie game and we’re on the road, end of a long trip and a chance to either win the game or ensure we get a point out of it. Then we get back to the things that were a problem for us in the second period. We force a play on the entry, turn it over and we stop playing on defending it and that’s the game. When you only score two goals, the games are fragile and you have to take care of them. We didn’t do that very well here. More lessons for us here.
Q. Kevin McGran, Toronto Star: What do you make of this particular road trip? Some incredible highs in sweeping Edmonton and keeping their big names shut down, and then you get swept yourself by Vancouver and your own big names get shut down. What do you make of that going forward, say, lessons you take into your homestand against Winnipeg?
Sheldon Keefe: Two completely different series. The games are completely different. The style of play is different. Like I said, I think the lessons we take away from it are, especially tonight’s game, we have enough offence to win the game or at least be in control at 2-1 in the third period. You have an excellent start, everything’s going the way we want it to and, as I said, we take a penalty that we can’t take — can’t just give them a freebie like that — but then you’ve got to get a kill. We’ve got to get a kill. We’ve got to get a blocked shot. These are the kind of things that make a big difference. We didn’t really go through that in the Edmonton series. We were in full control. We built big leads for the most part. It’s different type of games. These are really close, very fragile games. You’ve got to be good every single shift and every puck. Vancouver plays four lines. They play extremely hard and very competitive. They don’t give you anything for free. We weren’t good enough in the details of our game and staying with it all the way through. It just goes to show that, first of all, anybody in our division can beat you on any given night. We’ve got to be good all the time and we’ve got to stay with the process that works for us. Go off script and get the results you get here.
Q. Jonas Siegel, The Athletic: Have you felt like the Matthews line has been a little out of sync the last couple here?
Sheldon Keefe: No. You go back through it, I don’t know how many shots Auston had tonight, but he had five last game, some point blank opportunities, open nets and if those fall in you’re not asking me the question.
Q. Luke Fox, Sportsnet: It failed you tonight but overall how satisfied are you with your penalty kill?
Sheldon Keefe: I thought we had shown tremendous growth in our penalty kill. These two games, I thought if you go back and watch the penalty kill we had the other night against Vancouver, I thought we actually did an unbelievable job killing the penalties. In fact we had more chances to score than they did and they score a funny one on a bad angle on us. Chalk that one up as not a big deal, but today the goal we give up on the rush that’s not good enough and then we’ve got to get a block and keep the puck out of our net with the game on the line in the third. It’s not a great sign for us there, but there has been a lot of really good things happening on our penalty kill here for the last 10 games or so. We’ll hope we can get back to it.
Q. Mark Masters, TSN: How do you feel the Tavares line is coming along here of late? John was just saying him and William are starting to feel it a bit?
Sheldon Keefe: Yeah I would agree with that. I thought that line in the first period, I thought they were our best line. They were moving very well. Willy himself could have had two or three in the first period, some really great looks. Obviously, it was great to see John get one in, it was a big goal for us. I would definitely say that line looked good.
Q. Kevin McGran, Toronto Star: What did you see that Vancouver was doing out there that was successful for them?
Frederik Andersen: I thought they were working really hard to pressure us and eliminate our time through the neutral zone. They came hard at us and obviously worked hard all night.
Q. Kevin McGran, Toronto Star: How are you feeling? You’re able to head home now, sleep in your bed and get ready for Winnipeg. How does the end of a road trip and the beginning of a homestand feel for you?
Frederik Andersen: Obviously, the end of the road trip we’d like to finish on a good note. We can go home and work on some things and get ready for Winnipeg. That’s what we’re going to do. Look forward and work on improving some things and keep trying to set a high standard for ourselves.
Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: Do you think your line is a little out of sync or a lot out of sync?
Mitch Marner: Obviously, these two games weren’t what we wanted. Time to refresh, get a couple practice days. Just make sure we get talking trying to find our chemistry. I just think for our line we’ve just got to control the puck more in the O zone, keep the puck in our hands, try and make the right play when it’s there. Right now maybe we’re just forcing it a little bit too much.
Q. Mark Masters, TSN: You guys have been pretty good at playing with the lead down the stretch in games this season. What was your perspective on what happened in the third period tonight and what allowed the Canucks to get a grip on this game?
Mitch Marner: We almost kill of that whole kill and they got that tipped one in. Then obviously the next one just trying to make a play in, doesn’t go the way we want, quick up, bobbling puck, bounces everywhere, goes in. I think we’ve done a great job holding leads. I think sometimes it slips away. It happened tonight. Turnovers were the reason for it so just make sure we clean that part up, obviously starting for myself.
Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: Usually guys have done a better job this year in general facing adversity, but things fell apart towards the end of the game tonight. Can you talk about that please?
Morgan Rielly: In games past recently we’ve done a good job with holding leads and we talked about that going into the third. Obviously, it’s not the outcome that we wanted and there areas that we can clean up moving forward to get back to how we were playing before this. I think we have to learn from it and move forward.
Q. Kevin McGran, Toronto Star: What do you think the difference is in your game – I mean the team game, not your personal game – against Vancouver as opposed to what it was against Edmonton?
Morgan Rielly: They’re two different teams so it’s hard to compare. It’s a completely different game playing completely different pace of play. The special teams are different. It’s tough to compare. I think as a broad statement we’re happy with the outcomes we got in Edmonton and the way that we competed and held on to leads. We weren’t able to do that here in Vancouver, but in terms of comparing the two series, I think it’s tough just because the teams are so different.
Q. Mark Masters, TSN: You guys have done a good job playing with the league a lot of this season. What was your perspective on the third period tonight and what allowed the Canucks to grab this game?
John Tavares: I think we were having a really good third and then the power play goal really gave them some life. It happened quickly and changed quickly and all of sudden bang, bang, they’re up one. We just have to find a way to regroup well after they tie it up. It’s a long season, things like that are going to happen even when you’re playing well and controlling a lot of the play. I thought before the penalty we had a lot of opportunities. We were on their half of the ice a lot. We didn’t give them much room. And then after that, we were trying to generate offence and try to find a way to tie one up and we just weren’t able to come through and unfortunately they found the next one too to get the lead as we were pressing and trying to find it.
Q. Jonas Siegel, The Athletic: What you think had led to you and Nylander heating up a little bit here?
John Tavares: We’re just both of us individually feeling a little bit better. Just continuing to stay with it and good habits, doing a good job away from the puck without it to get the puck in good spots. As you continue to play, continue to get a better feel for one another and create more time and space. Building confidence off your instincts and taking what’s given to us and simplifying a little bit and being predictable and seem to be moving well off the puck. I think we’re doing a pretty good job in our own end for the most part and we’re able to break out quick and have the ability to enter the zone with control or at least give yourself a good chance to recover pucks.