I’m trying to take a softer approach to cover the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, Sheldon Keefe walking back his criticism of his players is a clear indication of weak egos.
Let’s get caught up, shall we?
Here’s what Keefe said after the Leafs’ embarrassing loss to the Arizona Coyotes.
“Our best people have not found their rhythm. The difference between us and Arizona is that we have elite players. And our elite players didn’t play like elite players today, they couldn’t make a difference. In that sense, the game is going to be close. That’s the way it goes when those guys don’t make the difference that they can.”
I had zero issues with Keefe’s honest take on his team. Three games into the season, only William Nylander has lived up to expectations. Toronto could easily be 4-0 on the year, but the big boys haven’t stepped up.
Keefe’s words should have sent a shiver down Auston Matthews and Mitch Marners’ spines. Instead, Keefe spoke to the media on Wednesday and exposed how fragile Toronto’s ego is.
“I used some of the wrong words to describe … that the difference in the game, I find, is just we weren’t able to produce.”
“Whether it’s power play or five-on-five, that’s really the difference with all the puck time we had. By no means was I meaning anything beyond that, which is what I wanted them to be sure of. As it turned out, they didn’t know what I was talking about, which is a good thing, but at the same time (it was) important that they know where I was coming from.”
I don’t believe his players didn’t know what he was talking about. This is the same group of stars that have gotten snippy with the media and generally haven’t done well with criticism. I’m positive they don’t care what I’m writing in “some fan blog.” But I’m going to say what we’re all thinking; The Toronto Maple Leafs are soft.
Sorry Leafs fans, the team is soft, and soft teams don’t win championships.