Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly
spoke to the media on Sunday following the team's four-game road trip. Here's what he had to say...
On finding positives to build on:
It's always tough when your team doesn't get the wins but as a team I think we made some strides forward. I think we're improving on how we play defence and I think we're playing better hockey. It's just a matter of trying to put the puck in the net and trying to get wins. We obviously weren't ale to do that on this trip but hopefully these next two games we have before the all-star break we're able to capitalize.
On why the scoring has dried up:
Teams go on streaks where they have a hard time putting the puck in the net and I think that's what we're going through right now. I don't think it's a problem with the coaching staff or what happened with the change, I think it's just a matter of a cold streak. I think as a team we've changed the way we play a little bit just with tighter D. At times you're only going to score two goals as opposed to four but we have to get used to these tight games.
On if they're still getting enough scoring chances:
Yeah, I think we're playing good hockey and getting chances, I think we're snakebitten right now. We're just having trouble capitalizing on our chances so it's just a matter of trying to turn that around and it just takes work. Just stick with it.
On if they're still working through the system changes:
As a team we're doing a pretty good job. We're closing on plays, we're blocking more shots, we're tracking back hard and trying to make it tough on teams. I think we've been doing a pretty good job against some pretty good teams recently. It's a matter of keep working at it, keep getting better at it and just stick with it.
On more confidence in being aggressive offensively with the defensive improvement:
Yeah, I think so. You might get more opportunities to create in the offensive zone when the team is playing tighter D. It's a matter of picking your spots, trying to be responsible and playing D first and if you have a chance to jump in offensively, don't hesitate.
On the mood of the team:
As a team we're not happy that we haven't been able to get wins lately but we're happy that we're improving in almost every area except scoring goals. We're taking strides forward and that's the most important thing. We're playing good hockey and we have to be happy with that. Just keep working, keep getting better and be persistent.
On maintaining confidence in the new system:
The proof is in the pudding. We're just playing better hockey, we're making it tough on teams and that's the main thing. It just takes time. We've just got to keep working at it. We've got a lot of hockey left to play this year and we have to keep doing what we as a team have been doing over the past [six] games. The goals will come. It's just a matter of keeping at it.