Sheldon Keefe reveals the Maple Leafs Stanley Cup playoffs X-factor

Dawson Mckenzie
April 11, 2024  (12:01)

Auston Matthews and Tyler Bertuzzi celebrating a goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Photo credit: TSN

With the NHL Playoffs edging closer, the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to build on last season's success, and now Sheldon Keefe has revealed their X-Factor for this post-season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to make the next step again this season in their hunt for their first Stanley Cup since 1967. Last season they were able to break the curse of failing to get out of the first round of the playoffs, only to be trounced by the Florida Panthers. This season, they are looking to take it to the next level.
After their win in New Jersey the other night, Sheldon Keefe discussed how he believes Tyler Bertuzzi will be their X-Factor this season, given the success he has had in crucial moments in the past.
"All I can say is, you know, throughout his career, at different levels, he seems to have that knack. Junior hockey, American League, NHL... so I think he is a bit of an X-factor. He's got that competitiveness in him. He plays hard, he's fearless, he's got a good stick, both to make plays and finish around the net and he goes to dirty areas, which really helps open things up for his line, but also, that he's in the right places when the puck arrives so we've been saying it throughout the season that we sensed that he's going to be trend in the right direction at the most important time of the year, and we've seen that."

Tyler Bertuzzi has 21 goals and 21 assists on the season, but more impressively he has been able to score 15 of those goals since February. He is getting hot at the right time, which could be the difference maker for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Between Bertuzzi and Max Domi, the first line, if it remains how it is now, has some grit and toughness that compliments Auston Matthews' ability score nicely. When the playoff physicality comes to fruition, this line should be able to withstand the pressure.
As seen on Maple Leafs Daily - Sheldon Keefe identifies Leafs' X-factor for the Stanley Cup Playoffs
APRIL 11   |   565 ANSWERS
Sheldon Keefe reveals the Maple Leafs Stanley Cup playoffs X-factor

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