Sportsnet Analyst and Long-time NHLer Kevin Bieksa On The Panel
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Ex-NHLer Kevin Bieksa Criticizes Sheldon Keefe On Hockey Night In Canada

Published December 31, 2023 at 12:00
Former NHL player and current Hockey Night In Canada analyst Kevin Bieksa didn't hold back in expressing his criticism of Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe.

Sheldon Keefe Sends A Message To His Team By Scratching David Kampf

Sheldon Keefe's decision to bench forward David Kampf was intended to send a message to the team, with the coach citing there will be "less tolerance" for defensive mistakes.

Sheldon Keefe says there is going to be «less tolerance» for defensive mistakes going forward and cites David Kampf as a scratch as an example of that tonight. Pontus Holmberg will draw in.

Bieksa took issue with Keefe's reasoning and publicly voiced his concerns on Hockey Night In Canada. He labeled Keefe's decision as an excuse for the team's struggling goaltending and criticized the choice of Kampf as the player to send a message.

"It's another excuse we're making for the goaltending," said Bieksa on Hockey Night in Canada. "It's another bad goal by Samsonov."

In Bieksa's view, Kampf being the team's primary defensive center and consistently making solid defensive plays, was the wrong player to bench. Bieksa questioned the effectiveness of singling out one player when the team as a whole was facing defensive challenges.

"You're picking the wrong guy," exclaimed a frustrated Bieksa. "You're picking Kampf, a guy who is your number one defensive center who makes a million great defensive plays on a team with a lot of guys that don't make a lot of great plays with the puck."

Expressing frustration, Bieksa wondered about the impact of the decision, asking if the message had truly been sent or if it was merely an attempt to focus on one player in the hope that others would follow suit.

"How many turnovers have there been tonight? Has the message been sent?" asked Bieksa. "Or is it just we are gonna pick on this one guy and hopefully everyone else gets in line?

His comments echoed the sentiments of Maple Leafs fans, raising concerns about the team's defensive struggles and the need for corrective measures.

What's the most important need for the Maple Leafs?

As Read On - Hockey Feed - Kevin Bieksa calls out Sheldon Keefe on Saturday night. Kevin Bieksa did not agree with a tough decision made by Sheldon Keefe on Saturday.
December 31   |   433 answers
Ex-NHLer Kevin Bieksa Criticizes Sheldon Keefe On Hockey Night In Canada

What's the most important need for the Maple Leafs?

Goaltender18041.6 %
Defenseman10023.1 %
3rd Line Center173.9 %
New Coach13631.4 %
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