Head Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs Sheldon Keefe on the bench during a game.
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Sheldon Keefe Singles Out a Key Defenseman Falling Short of Maple Leafs' Expectations

Published January 23, 2024 at 10:14
BY DAWSON MCKENZIE

In a recent interview, Sheldon Keefe chose to single out this key defenseman as falling short of his expectations, shocking many fans and sparking discussion as to the purpose of his criticism.

Sheldon Keefe Calls Out Liljegren For Not Meeting Expectations



One thing that has changed significantly from the Kyle Dubas Era to the Brad Treliving Era is the leeway that Sheldon Keefe has in calling out his players in the media. Under Dubas, Keefe was held back from being too hard on his players when talking to the media. Now, he doesn't hold back, and his latest victim is Timothy Liljegren.

Keefe recently called Liljegren out, saying that the young defenseman isn't meeting the team's expectations since his return from injury. Here is what Keefe had to say.


"A guy we talk about daily in terms of needing & wanting more out of... We got to help him through it... need Lily to skate, move pucks well & get pucks to the net, defend the rush well & I don't think he's done that to the level that we expect or have seen."


Liljegren was injured for a long stretch but has made his steady return back to the lineup. He has put up decent numbers for the Leafs and has a +1 rating in the last 5 games.

Keefe's Comments Concern Fans Who Think Liljegren Is Not The Problem



The Leafs are definitely going through a bit of a rough patch over the last 10 games or so, not playing at the level they want to and dropping games where they have the lead. However, Keefe's comments on Liljegren were met with some pushback by the media and fans, as Liljegren doesn't seem like the issue from the outside perspective.

Are we watching different players? He's been one of their most consistent defensemen. We gotta get a fresh set of eyes on this thing.




We will see if Liljegren can rise to the challenge of being called out by Keefe, or if he will maintain where he is at, which fans think is just fine.

As seen on Maple Leafs Daily - "Sheldon Keefe identifies one defenseman that just hasn't been good enough"
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January 23   |   1264 answers
Sheldon Keefe Singles Out a Key Defenseman Falling Short of Maple Leafs' Expectations

Do you think Liljegren has been an issue?

Yes53342.2 %
No73157.8 %
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