Sheldon Keefe
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Sheldon Keefe benches fan favorite in front of all his friends and family

Published March 9, 2024 at 1:59 PM

Sheldon Keefe and the Toronto Maple Leafs have recently been preaching accountability more than ever. Last week Keefe healthy scratched Pontus Holmberg after a defensive zone breakdown led to a goal. Keefe also benched William Nylander for the remainder of a period after he blew the zone early.

It seemed like the culture in Toronto was finally shifting. That wasn't until today.

The Toronto Maple Leafs make the trip to Montreal tonight to face off against the Montreal Canadiens. The rivalry matchup is always an important battle between the two teams. For one Montreal native in Simon Benoit, tonight was supposed to be an opportunity to play in front of friends and family.

Unfortunately for Benoit, he was informed this morning that he would be a healthy scratch and not be playing in front of everyone who he'd purchase tickets for. Instead struggling defender Timothy Liljegren would remain in the lineup. This despite Liljegren being awful as of late.

Keefe commented on the situation:

«Quite frankly, it kills me to have to sit Benoit here tonight, especially in this building.»

So what was the reasoning behind Benoit's scratch? It's simple, Timothy Liljegren holds his stick on the right. Despite playing poorly, Liljegren remains in the lineup because Keefe prefers to have a right-handed option.

This decision seems to go against everything, the Maple Leafs have been preaching recently. Sitting a fan favorite in front of friends and family is usually a business decision, but Benoit has proven and earned his spot. So watching him watch tonight's game from the press box will be a real shame.
March 9   |   760 answers
Sheldon Keefe benches fan favorite in front of all his friends and family

Will Sheldon Keefe be the Maple Leafs coach next season?

No, he won't be45259.5 %
Yes, he will be8010.5 %
It all depends on the playoffs22830 %
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