Sheldon Keefe Explains Why he Benched Morgan Rielly

Published March 24, 2023 at 8:09 PM

On Thursday night the Leafs played against the Panthers, but defenseman Morgan Rielly did not play in this game, he was watching the game from the press box due to the decision of the Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe

Rielly is the Leafs' top defenseman, and is used to seeing a lot of ice time during games, naturally, when it was announced that he would not be playing, people started asking questions.

Why was Rielly scratched?

After their 6-2 win against the Panthers, Keefe was asked why Rielly was scratched. Keefe explained that he wanted Rielly to get some rest after playing 5 games in 9 nights, and that he might do the same thing for other defensemen in the future.

"We will look at it. With this little phase of the schedule for sure, it is something we have talked about. When Kyle and I met with all of the defensemen a week or two ago and told them this was going to be coming, we have gone down the list of guys pretty much here. It has been a busy stretch of the schedule. As I said before the game, Rielly just played five games in nine nights. This is a good break for him. We have a back-to-back coming up here, so I think you will see more of that trend continue." - Keefe on the decision to make Rielly a healthy scratch and what we can expect moving forward

Coaches often rest their players before the playoffs. If Rielly happens to be dealing with any minor injuries, similar to how T.J. Brodie was dealing with some earlier this week. It makes sense for Keefe to let him rest before the playoffs start. The Leafs have 9 NHL defensemen on their roster, meaning they did not have a shortage of defensemen to play.

As seen on Mapleleafsinsider - Sheldon Keefe explains the decision to scratch Rielly
March 24   |   381 answers
Sheldon Keefe Explains Why he Benched Morgan Rielly

Did Keefe make the right move by scratching Rielly?

Yes29376.9 %
No8823.1 %
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