Sheldon Keefe, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, walking across the ice after a game.
Photo credit: Yahoo Sports

Sheldon Keefe Responds to Flyers' Bench Criticism: The Story Behind His Controversial Decision

Published March 15, 2024 at 12:16
BY DAWSON MCKENZIE

Sheldon Keefe faced some criticism at the end of the Leafs versus Flyers game last night, and he explained his decisions in his post-game interview.

Flyers Bench Gets Upset at Sheldon Keefe For Playing First Powerplay During Final Minutes of Blowout



The Toronto Maple Leafs had a dominant performance during last night's game against the Philadelphia Flyers, coming out to a 6-2 win. During the final minutes of the game, Sheldon Keefe put out his first powerplay despite the game being all but over.

The Flyers bench was not happy with the decision, letting Keefe know during the play about how they felt about it.


Flyers bench didn't like Keefe starting the top unit on the late game power play


Keefe Explains Why He Played First Powerplay During Final Minutes of Game Against Flyers



After the game, Sheldon Keefe revealed why he decided to put the first powerplay out so late in the game. Surprisingly, he was understanding of the Flyers' feelings, saying that he didn't want the first powerplay to be out their either. The reason they were, though, was just due to game management and how those players were up next.

Also surprisingly, Keefe reached out to the Flyers coaching staff to explain why he had them out there.

Keefe says Thompson was "understandably" upset when Leafs put out PP1 late while up 6-1

Already reached out to explain

"I got no intention of doing that ... We had tired people on our bench ... I got to manage my team & my bench ... They got a shortie out of it"

Trying to double up some of our third & fourth line guys & then we get a power play & you don't want to put the top guys out, but the other guys were exhausted"


In one sense, the Flyers were understandable to be upset with what was going on. However, as it was pointed out on the broadcast, this is the NHL and if you don't want to be scored on, you should play harder.

As seen on Blade of Steel - "Sheldon Keefe admits he called another coach to apologize"
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Sheldon Keefe Responds to Flyers' Bench Criticism: The Story Behind His Controversial Decision

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