Keefe took particular issue with Toronto’s star player’s play in the early stages of the loss, which ended their winning streak to start the season at just two.
“All of our good players started the game really, really careless, which didn’t give us a chance to take control,” Keefe said.
“We’ve seen this movie before when you let your opponent hang out.”
The Maple Leafs trailed 9-7 in the first period and fell behind 13-12 in the second period, with the Blackhawks leading 3-1.Toronto outscored Chicago 16-9 in the final frame but couldn’t find a breakthrough. Arvid Soderblom made 34 saves on the night.
“It’s a long season, but we want to play as quickly as possible,” Tavares said after the loss.
The Maple Leafs will play their first road game of the season on Thursday. The Florida Panthers eliminated Toronto in the second round of the playoffs last spring.