Sheldon Keefe full of praise for Leafs

The Leafs wrapped up their road swing with a win.



The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat last night against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center in downtown Newark, New Jersey. 

Back to back goals from forwards Michael Bunting and Auston Matthews would give the Leafs the third period advantage and ultimately the victory, ending their road swing on a high note. And while things may not have started ideally for the Leafs, head coach Sheldon Keefe was happy with the "clutch" way in which they finished up.

"The first period didn’t go great for us," Keefe said. "I don’t think it was as bad as the shot clock maybe said, but I liked how we came out and really took over the game in the second period. It was kind of back and forth through the third. The fact that our guys stuck with it with some key plays — some clutch plays at key times — was really great. A great way to finish the trip."

Keefe was also sure to give a shoutout to newcomer Sam Lafferty, who was acquired last week from the Chicago Blackhawks and is helping to pick up the slack in Ryan O'Reilly's absence from injury.

“I thought Lafferty really came alive in the second period, really started to skate through the neutral zone with the puck,” Keefe said. “I thought that really got them on their heels a few times. Obviously, a big play on the goal and a good play by (Nylander and Jarnkrok) to get to the net. That's obviously an important goal for us. But like I said, I really saw signs of what Lafferty is capable of in terms of putting the other team on their heels with his speed. He's done that at different times in the earlier games with us, but it was more off the puck in getting up the ice and applying pressure. Today, it was with the puck and carrying it through the neutral zone, which is probably a byproduct of playing at center.”

The Leafs are back in action against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night at home at Scotiabank Arena.