Much was made out of Sheldon Keefe’s postgame comments following last week’s 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers. Clearly unimpressed with his team’s effort, Keefe didn’t hold back, calling their performance “soft and purposeless”. These remarks sent many in the Toronto media and Leafs Nation into a speculative frenzy. Has Keefe lost the room? Will the players resent him for saying that? What does Kyle Dubas think of these remarks?
One of our biggest takeaways from Amazon’s ‘All or Nothing’ series was that Sheldon Keefe identified early on last year that the Maple Leafs were lacking “Stanley Cup Habits” and well… we all remember what happened last year. This season, the stakes are even higher and another first round exit, regardless of who their opponent ends up being, will more than likely result in Keefe, Dubas or both potentially losing their jobs.
Keefe’s message was received loud and clear it seems, as the Leafs built up and protected a lead (finally!) en route to a nice 3-1 win over the Islanders on Saturday.
Folks, let’s keep our eyes on the prize here, there is one thing… and one thing only… that matters for this Leaf team: playoff success! If the players dislike Sheldon’s comments and if Sheldon thinks they’re soft, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is winning their first playoff series since 2004, what matters is this team showing they are the Stanley Cup contender… with hopefully an upgrade or two coming for the blueline… that they consider themselves to be.
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