Sheldon Keefe's post game comments prove he's not allowed to call out his own team

Published May 8, 2023 at 1:28 PM

Earlier this year, after a disappointing game against the Arizona Coyotes, head coach Sheldon Keefe uncharacteristically called out his best players in the media. Keefe made it clear after a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes that the loss was entirely on his elite players. This seemed like a major step forward for a Head Coach who had been unwilling to call out the likes of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

The difference between us and Arizona is that we have elite players. And our elite players didn't play like elite players.

It wasn't long before Keefe was forced to walk back those very same comments, something most Leafs' fans found embarrassing. A coach being unable to call out his best players publicly is unheard of, but with today's new breed of players it's not surprising. After last night's loss many expected for Keefe to call out his best players lackluster performance, but he had other plans.

After last night's game Keefe did everything in his power to direct criticism away from Mitch Marner, who was ineffective from the moment the puck dropped. After the game Keefe offered up the following:

A lot of opportunities for our guys in the first five minutes, Auston puts one off the bar. Florida plugged it up after that. No power plays makes it more challenging.

On stars such as Marner getting shut down so far:

It's a team game.

After what was one of the worst games from the Leafs core, it's clear that Keefe either doesn't have the stones or the ability to call out his best players for not being his best players. Keefe and the Leafs core are clearly running out of opportunities and time.

Today Keefe added the following quotes that don't exactly leave Maple Leafs fans feeling all fuzzy inside.

It's meant to be hard. Anything worth achieving is hard.

Game 4 goes Wednesday night in Sunrise.
May 8   |   1150 answers
Sheldon Keefe's post game comments prove he's not allowed to call out his own team

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