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Keefe on job security: 'I’m just going focus on what I can do here'

Sheldon Keefe Toronto Maple Leafs Sheldon Keefe - Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs dropped to 4-4-2 on the early season with Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks after blowing a 3-1 third-period lead.

Anaheim snapped a seven-game winless skid with the win, while the Maple Leafs slipped to seventh in the Atlantic Division. 

Toronto's head coach Sheldon Keefe faced questions about his job security after the loss, stating his focus is on having the team respond from their 0-2-2 on their road trip.

“I’m just going focus on what I can do here,” Keefe said. “I got a job to do with the group. Our group has responded in the past. I thought we were responding well here today.”

Forward Mitch Marner pointed out after the loss that the team started 2-4-1 last season before posting a franchise-best 115 points in the regular season. 

"We started off a lot worse last year and everyone tried to put shambles in our brain," Marner said. "It's not going to happen with us. We're getting to go back home now. It's time to regroup."

"These things are tough to turn around and tough to get out of, but it's important to not be discouraged, not lose confidence, not lose your direction," defenceman Morgan Rielly added. "You want to keep working... We're going to just keep going until we right the ship.

"Nobody's making excuses saying, 'It's early in the season,' and that this is OK. We're not saying that. But, it's important that we keep our focus on it's a long season and we have an opportunity here to start playing some good hockey.

"We have the belief in the group"

The Maple Leafs will host the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday as they kick off a stretch of five home games in their next six. 

"We've got to get home and get rested," Keefe said. "Going to get some healthy bodies in our lineup here soon, too, so those kinds of things will give us a boost."

Toronto could have Timothy Liljegren in their lineup for the first time this season this week after the defenceman appeared in two AHL games last week. Liljegren, who had five goals and 23 points in 61 games last season, was sidelined to start the season after hernia surgery.