Keefe reveals exactly what happened on the Leafs bench in game 4

Samer Dagher
April 28, 2024  (4:21 PM)

Toronto Maple Leafs bench interaction between Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe offered his perspective on a heated exchange involving star players Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander during the team's loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 4.

Despite the loss putting them on the brink of elimination, Keefe saw the exchange as a positive sign of accountability among the players.
Frustration has started to set in for the Maple Leafs stars 😠

Keefe emphasized that such interactions demonstrate progress, showing that the players care about their performance and are willing to address issues openly.
"I look at it as something that happens when things aren't going well. In the past, quite honestly, that wouldn't have happened," Keefe said on Sunday. "Guys wouldn't have talked it out, wouldn't have, you want to call it arguing it out, that wouldn't have happened. I look at that as progress and those guys care."

He acknowledged that frustration may be running high due to the team's offensive struggles against the Bruins, but refrained from characterizing it solely as frustration.
"I don't look at it as frustration. I look at them being upset and pissed off that they didn't deliver for the team and they're pushing and challenging each other to get it right. "Keefe said. These guys have been together a long time and they're pushing and challenging each other to get it right. They know how important they are to the team. When they're not delivering, they recognize it. I don't look at it as much more than that.

Instead, Keefe viewed it as a reflection of the players' determination to improve and deliver for the team. He trusted the players to resolve the situation among themselves and saw no need for intervention from his side.
As the Maple Leafs prepare for Game 5, Keefe stressed the importance of teamwork and unity, emphasizing that everyone needs to work together to overcome their current challenges in the playoffs.
" I don't look at it as a big deal. I think it's important that those guys work their way through some things and figure things out," Keefe added. "They have a great responsibility to our team and they take it very seriously. They're going to work together to find their way. I think that working together is really important, not just with the remainder of our group. Those guys have all got to pull together and it's going to take that type of team effort to help us work our way through this."

The team did not skate on Sunday, except for players who didn't participate in Saturday's game. They will have a practice session on Monday before heading to Boston for Game 5, where they must win to extend their playoff hopes.
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Keefe reveals exactly what happened on the Leafs bench in game 4

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