“It wasn’t a very good hockey game from us… Maybe we showed up for an easy game, and they didn’t give it to us”

Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs postgame

Sheldon Keefe spoke to the media after his team’s 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers took the Leafs to 44-19-5 this season.

On the team’s performance:

We had some very good chances in the third period and we took them. We did some good things, obviously, leading up to Matthews’ goal. We didn’t win many shifts today, but this is the one we did a good job on. We had the puck and we really got them running. This leads to an empty net. Those kinds of things that we capitalized on very well. Rielly’s goal was similar.

It was not a very good hockey game for us.

On Jack Campbell’s performance in his first game:

He looked like Jack. I loved the way he played tonight. This first period, especially in the first 10 minutes, was a disaster by us in front of him. The saves he made early in the game – this is Jack at his best. It was really good to see. It’s great to have him back.

On whether there is any concern about the performance despite the result:

I take Jack’s performance for what it is. It’s somewhat separate from what’s going on. His job is to be there when the going gets tough. True, they collapsed.

Do I care? We played really well as we were really pushed by the top teams, and tonight in the third period. Obviously we want to do a better job in these games. Tonight we just didn’t have it, so that’s disappointing.

I would say disappointing certainly, but not worrying in the sense that I know what our team is capable of doing. Maybe that’s the problem: they know what they can do.

Let’s give Philadelphia some credit. For me, they played a great hockey game tonight and made it very difficult for us. Maybe we showed up for an easy match, and they didn’t give it to us. They made us look bad there for a while.

On Wayne Simmonds’ first goal in 33 games:

This line didn’t have much ice today. Simmer plays with a lot of energy and passion. It’s a big goal for us at this time. Nice fight at the end.

I thought that line looked a lot like the rest of our team tonight.

On Nick Abruzzese’s debut:

He made a few plays with the puck that were really impressive – the balance he had with the puck to relax under pressure.

It’s a tough game for a guy like him to play tonight. It’s a fast game. They arrive quickly and we are on our heels for a large part of the game. We never really had control of it. He’s the kind of player who would play a lot better and feel a lot more comfortable if we really rode as a team. We weren’t.

He was put in a lot of tough situations today. I don’t know how many face-offs we had in our own zone tonight, but it was way too many. As a result, every line really started very much with a deficit today, or we were just passing lines.

He did a few pieces today that I really enjoyed seeing. Obviously, he’s going to get better every time.

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