NHL

'It's great for the camaraderie' – Maple Leafs coach Keefe savours win at Kings

By Sports Desk November 25, 2021

Sheldon Keefe said the Toronto Maple Leafs would reap the benefits of a convincing 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

Toronto are 10-2 for November so far, a league-leading number of wins, and sit in second place in the Atlantic Division after that surge.

Wednesday night's victory saw Keefe's team avenge a 5-1 loss to the Kings from earlier in the month when the Maple Leafs had a rare off night.

On this occasion, a 4-1 burst in the second period took the game away from the Kings, with the evening's endeavour leaving Keefe full of admiration for his team come the end of the game.

Goals from Pierre Engvall, Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Michael Bunting, Alexander Kerfoot and Jason Spezza sank the home side, with Rasmus Sandin notching three assists.

Keefe said: "I thought we did some good things in terms of how we want to attack the net, increase our volume a little bit. But I don't know if it's just a matter of some of the luck coming back our way. I don't know if we did anything a whole lot different than what we have been doing in other games, but it was certainly nice to see it going [our way].

"I can't remember the last time we've blown a game open like that. It's been a long time, all season frankly. So it was nice to have that.

"We've played good hockey on the road of late, but we haven't gotten the goals so we've really had to grind it out till the end, so it was nice today to have a nice cushion and leave here with lots of positivity.

"It's great for the team, great for the camaraderie of the group.

"It was nice to have that for our guys. When you’re scoring, the group is feeling good. We have played good hockey on the road here of late, but we haven’t gotten the goals.

"We have really had to grind it out to the very end. It was nice today to have a good cushion. We will leave here with lots of positivity and the group feeling good."

There was a negative among abundant positives as David Kampf hit his head after a coming together with the Kings' Rasmus Kupari and was withdrawn in the first period and kept off the ice thereafter.

Keefe said: "With the nature of the hit, it is precautionary. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow. We will take it from there.

"I saw a replay on the bench. It looked to me like direct contact to his head, so you hate to see that. I don't know how much intent was there, it looked pretty accidental to me."

Related items

  • Panthers top Oilers in Game 7 to win Stanley Cup Panthers top Oilers in Game 7 to win Stanley Cup

    It took 30 years for the Florida Panthers to win their first Stanley Cup.

    For Paul Maurice, the wait was nearly as long.

    Sam Reinhart's tie-breaking goal late in the second period held up as the Panthers captured the NHL's most coveted trophy for the first time with Monday's 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of a memorable Stanley Cup Final.

    Carter Verhaeghe also had a goal and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 shots - including all nine he faced in the third period - to also give Maurice his first Stanley Cup after nearly 2,000 combined regular-season and play-off games as a head coach.

    Maurice is in his 26th season leading an NHL team, the longest wait of any head coach in the four major North American professional sports leagues before winning his first championship.

    While Maurice and the Panthers' long streaks came to an end, another continues on as the Oilers' loss marks the 31st consecutive season a Canadian team has not hoisted the Cup since the Montreal Canadiens' win in 1993.

    Edmonton was also bidding to become only the second team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after losing the first three games of the best-of-seven finals, a feat the Toronto Maple Leafs accomplished in 1942.

    Oilers' captain Connor McDavid still took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the play-offs after setting an NHL post-season record with 42 points. The superstar centre is just the second skater on a losing team to win the award, joining the Philadelphia Flyers' Reggie Leach in 1976.

    McDavid recorded a pair of four-point outings in Games 4 and 5 to help Edmonton extend the series, but the three-time Hart Trophy recipient was kept off the scoresheet by a stout Florida defensive effort for a second straight game in Monday's finale.

     

  • NHL:Oilers win again to force Stanley Cup Final to Game 7 NHL:Oilers win again to force Stanley Cup Final to Game 7

    Adam Henrique and Zach Hyman scored second-period goals and Stuart Skinner was great again with 20 saves as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Florida Panthers 5-1 for their third straight win on Friday night to push the Stanley Cup Final to Game 7.

    Warren Foegele also scored and Ryan McLeod and Darnell Nurse added late empty-net goals to help the Oilers stave off elimination again and even a series that seemed a lost cause a week ago.

    Leon Draisaitl remained without a goal in this series but set up Foegele’s early goal that gave Edmonton a lead it would not relinquish, and now it has a chance to complete an improbable comeback Monday night in Sunrise, Florida.

    The Oilers are the first team to tie the Cup final after falling behind 3-0 in the series since the Detroit Red Wings in 1945.

    Edmonton is a win away from becoming just the second team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after losing the first three games. The only team to do it was the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs.

    That victory would end Canada’s three-decade-long Cup drought.

    Skinner made timely saves despite allowing Aleksander Barkov’s goal early in the third period. He has stopped 81 of 86 shots in the last three games after he gave up nine goals on 68 shots in the first three games of the series.

  • NHL: McDavid, Oilers drag Panthers back to Edmonton for Game 6 NHL: McDavid, Oilers drag Panthers back to Edmonton for Game 6

    Connor McDavid scored two goals and set up two others and Evan Bouchard had three assists as the Edmonton Oilers held on for a 5-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night to force Game 6 in the Stanley Cup Final.

    Connor Brown, Zach Hyman and Corey Perry also scored for the Oilers, who staved off elimination again to send the series back to Edmonton for Game 6 on Friday.

    The Oilers scored the game’s first three goals but had to hold off the Panthers down the stretch and could finally breathe when McDavid scored into an empty net with 19 seconds remaining.

    Matthew Tkachuk and Evan Rodrigues had a goal and an assist apiece for Florida, which will see its 30-years-and-counting wait for the franchise’s first Stanley Cup title last at least three more days.

    Four more points increased McDavid’s playoff total to 42, the fourth-most in a single postseason in NHL history. The only players ahead of him are Wayne Gretzky (47 in 1985), Mario Lemieux (44 in 1991) and Gretzky (43 in 1988).

    This game started just as Game 4 did, with the Oilers scoring short-handed for a 1-0 lead. Brown tallied this time after assisting on Nike Mikkola’s tally on Saturday night.

    Hyman doubled the advantage on the power play at 1:58 of the middle period and McDavid made it 3-0 just over three minutes later.

    Tkachuk got Florida on the board 1:53 later, but Perry restored the three-goal cushion on a power play with 8:06 left in the second. Rodrigues cut the deficit to 4-2 14 seconds later.

    The Panthers were unable to get the equaliser as Stuart Skinner finished with 29 saves.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.