Toronto Maple Leafs’ Keefe Channels Inner Tortorella Amid Playoff Push

Sheldon Keefe Toronto Maple Leafs playoff push

Sheldon Keefe, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, appears to be channeling the assertive coaching style of John Tortorella more frequently as of late.

During a recent matchup against the New Jersey Devils, Keefe took a page from Tortorella’s playbook by publicly criticizing his team, particularly singling out captain John Tavares for his performance. Keefe’s remarks marked a departure from his usual approach, drawing parallels to Tortorella’s no-nonsense style of coaching.

Keefe’s frustration stemmed from lapses in defensive play and sloppy puck management, with Tavares and star forward Auston Matthews being notable culprits. These mistakes seemed to have a ripple effect on the rest of the team, contributing to a 6-3 loss to the Devils.

Keefe’s willingness to hold players accountable extends back to earlier incidents in the season, such as benching David Kämpf for a crucial mistake and disciplining Tavares during a game against the Colorado Avalanche. His actions reflect a growing emphasis on eliminating careless errors that could prove costly, especially as the playoffs loom.

ALSO READ:Maple Leafs’ Tavares Responds to Keefe’s Call for Accountability

This intensified approach from Keefe underscores the high stakes facing the Leafs this postseason, with speculation surrounding potential coaching changes in the event of another early playoff exit. Keefe’s aim is clear: to instill a sense of urgency and discipline in his team to avoid repeating past disappointments.

While the effectiveness of Keefe’s tactics remains to be seen, recent results suggest some success despite setbacks like the loss to the Devils. Despite key absences due to injuries, the Leafs have maintained a strong record in their last 27 games, showcasing resilience and determination under Keefe’s guidance.

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