'It's great for the camaraderie' – Maple Leafs coach Keefe savours win at Kings
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among abundant positives as David Kampf hit his head after a coming together with the Kings' Rasmus Kupari and was withdrawn in the first period and kept off the ice thereafter.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."