Sheldon How on John Cooper's comments about scoring in the Leaves: "I think that's his way of trusting his team...If I were in his position, I'd say something similar"

Sheldon How on John Cooper’s comments about scoring in the Leaves: “I think that’s his way of trusting his team…If I were in his position, I’d say something similar”

Sheldon Cave, Toronto Maple Leafs

After training on Saturday, Sheldon discussed how Michael Banting played over two games, John Cooper’s comments about his lack of concern about Lightning’s ability to score in the foliage, Justin Hall’s performance in his first game of the series, and much more.


Training Lines – May 7


What is the atmosphere around the team after last night’s win?

qualitative: We obviously feel happy any time you come out of the playoff. At the same time, I think it’s a bit like business. We feel good about winning the game here and giving ourselves a 2-1 lead in the series, but I know our team can play better and will have to play better. This is our focus. Today is a recovery day for our team, but for sure, as we get closer to tomorrow, we are looking forward to playing even better.

When you face the two-time cup champions, is it about trying to give the team any life?

qualitative: that’s what I am talking about. We love a lot of the things we did in the game, but I look at it, and I still see a lot of things we can do better as a team and things we can do better as individuals. This is our focus: keep building.

After returning from his injury, where do you think Michael Banting?

qualitative: In terms of injury, I think he’s fine. I don’t think there are any problems. He’s coming back from injury, and you’re also going to be back and playing in the playoffs for the first time.

Especially when you play on that streak, it’s not easy minutes. I thought this streak had a hard time last night. I thought it got better when we made the change. We’ll be looking forward to getting started this way tomorrow.

Pontes is an important player for us. He scored a big goal for us in the second match. I think it will keep getting better the more reps it gets.

What makes Alex Kerfoot so special that he seems to be rising in the playoffs?

qualitative: Curve is a very competitive man. He is very responsible. He is very good in all areas of his game. This translates well to this time of year. His details and habits are good. These do not change.

Last night, he made a little foul there in the second half on his murder penalty. This does not change who he is. We give him a chance to rise in the squad after that and do a good job. It looks like whatever font he’s improving.

Why does he seem to be upping his game in the playoffs? I don’t know if that raises his game or if he keeps playing despite the fact that it’s getting harder. Whatever he is, we love him, and he’s an important guy to us.

Did you talk to him about this error?

qualitative: It was very clear that he knows. He was well aware of that. I spoke to him before my third period started just about getting rid of him but even more so that I needed him to help with that streak. They were going to have a tough match. I needed him to have a good third spell for us.

He seems to be typical of the type of player you really like as someone who can play many positions. You have a number of people who can do that – Blackwell et al. What is the importance of this type of player in the playoffs and in general?

qualitative: very important. We have our stars – our real squad makers – and they get a lot of attention for good reason, but when you’re building a team you have to be able to have a diverse team of guys who can do different things and different types of players.

During the season, even when you get in on someone and have a lineup with everyone in the place you think is perfect, hockey happens. Errors occur. Men’s games rise and fall. Injuries and matches occur.

You have to be able to move people. You need depth to be able to do that. Your depth has to be versatile or you’re really locked into a lot of different things. When I look at our team last season, we lost John early in the playoffs. I thought Curve rose up and did a great job for us at this place, but we were really limited and closed off to a lot of other places that didn’t allow us as much flexibility.

This season, due to Kampfs, Kases, Buntings, Engvall, Kerf and the addition of Blackwell, there is additional variety to the group. There is no doubt. We’ve taken advantage of that all season.

How do you convince an offensive player like William Nylander to take defensive responsibility at this time of year?

qualitative: I think it’s understandable that you have to be good both ways, especially in the playoffs when you’re playing against one of the top teams in the league. Anytime you’re in the playoffs, you’ll be playing against the top 16 teams in the league. They are all that remains. Certainly, in our case, we are facing successive heroes. The depth they have will create great challenges.

You have to play both sides. It’s not just will. It’s Austin. It’s Mitch. They are our men on the other end of it. You’re talking about Kampf, who is absolutely great defensively. There will be times when he has to step up the attack on this side of him. He did that last night by scoring a massive goal for us.

That’s just what it takes: both sides. There is a level of severity required on both sides of the disc in order for it to succeed. This applies to all of our players.

Are you looking to spend more time on the offensive end than you did in the second half of the game? Does this go a long way to help the likes of Nylander and Tavares get more involved in the attack?

qualitative: I thought we had an excellent time in attack – perhaps our best of the series – in the first half of the first period last night. There was sometimes a hard time getting out on our end and that caused some problems.

From there, against a team like that, if you don’t get out of your territory within the first 10 seconds or faster than that, they’ll take over you, spread you out, and it’s going to be really hard to get them out. From there, you’re pretty much putting yourself in a situation where we are right now and trying not to let go of a high-risk opportunity in the slot.

We were in that situation a lot last night, especially in the second half of the game, so we put a lot of attack away. Our focus should be on getting out quickly. Both teams are trying to accomplish the same things. We deal with a lot. If we cross the threshold of the 10 seconds or so, we are usually exhausted and in control of the gameplay.

They are very similar and as good as any team in the league in this regard. It’s a big challenge for us defensively.

John Cooper said he’s not worried about scoring against you guys. What are your thoughts on that?

qualitative: I think that’s just his way of trusting and believing in his team. I think, if I had been in his position, I would have said something similar.

He was asked about Jack Campbell specifically and he said his team has scored seven goals in the last two. How do you feel about the way Jack handled what Tampa threw?

qualitative: I think last night was a great indication of how he’s playing. He is confident. He believes in himself. Even during the times when he looks like he’s getting hit, he finds ways to get the disc out. It tracks it really well. It’s the playoffs. Teams will try to make it difficult for goalkeepers. We are trying to do the same at the other end.

We have to continue to do a better job of limiting the chances and trying to help Jack. Both goalkeepers, for that matter, in the third game last night did some sort of save the match. If Matthews scored in his breakout or bounce right after, or if Marner scored instead of hitting the crossbar and post right after, they probably wouldn’t have much thrust the rest of the way.

Vasilevskiy kept them, then they record shortly after. Jack made some game-saving saves for us along the length of the court. The goalkeepers were fighting back and forth. It’s great to see Jack standing there.

Got what I wanted to swap Justin Hall and Timothy Lilligreen?

qualitative: The main reason Liljegren won in starting the series was the chemistry between him and the Giordano that they featured throughout the regular season. That was a big part of it.

In the first two games, this pairing wasn’t as good as it used to be. On that end, especially when you’re coming off a tough penalty kick night, you want to involve Hall. I thought he aided in the penalty killing. I thought he did some good things in the game. There were two bugs inside that we need to do better, and our attackers can help the cause as well.

To go straight to the question, I’d say Justin came in and gave us a good match. We have to try to limit the two mistakes that hurt us a little last night.

We haven’t really seen low-goal matches in the qualifiers as we often expect. Do you have any idea why we don’t see her across the league so often?

qualitative: hard to say. Obviously the number of special teams I’m sure was a factor. I didn’t follow the other series to see how much goals were scored or if the turbulence in the flow helped divide teams somewhat defensively.

Maybe it’s just a continuation of the trend in the regular season at the same time. There was an uptick in crime in the regular season.

I wouldn’t have a definitive answer to that other than saying it’s too early. Teams, in each series, are still adapting to each other, the playoffs, and the way the games are called up.

We definitely go into every game and we are prepared for it to be very difficult.

Did you hear Jack Campbell’s network call with his defender? Men comment on it a lot.

qualitative: Not so much myself, but with the men of defense, they talk about it, and Dean [Chynoweth] talking about it. Appreciated by Steve Breer. You have someone like Jack who is an optimistic guy with energy. You want to use that to your advantage when it comes to communication.

This is a good thing to hear and a good thing to have. It helps make things so much easier. There was some chatter on the bench about the importance of speaking on the ice because things are so chaotic in qualifying. It’s 60 minutes of noise. It is high.

You have to sort that out and play through it. When you are in close proximity to communicate, it helps. Oftentimes, you don’t have time to see what’s going on because the plays are approaching very quickly. What you think maybe there is no.

Any help you can get from any of your teammates is helpful. In the case of the goalkeeper, he sees the whole match. This is a good and positive thing.

TJ Brodie seems to have a great first half of the series. What do you see from him exactly?

qualitative: It cleans up a lot of bugs and reduces itself. I think it manages the disc well and rarely flips it. In terms of position, it is in good positions. He doesn’t take many chances to put himself in bad situations. When his partner or attackers get it wrong, he has the ability to clean it up with good reads, good sticks, and the ability to break up plays.



2022-05-07 23:28:48

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