Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Auston Matthews and Tyler Bertuzzi celebrating with defenseman Timothy Liljegren
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Tensions Emerge Between Sheldon Keefe and Tyler Bertuzzi

Published March 20, 2024 at 9:14 PM

To start tonight's game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Washington Capitals, Sheldon Keefe made an interesting decision with Tyler Bertuzzi by sitting him for the first portion of the game.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are at a point in the season where every single point matters. As they look to gear up for the upcoming 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe has begun to crack down on his players.

Tonight, forward Tyler Bertuzzi, who is in his first season with the Toronto Maple Leaf after spending his career with the Detroit Red Wings and the Boston Bruins, was benched for nearly 10 minutes due to a poor warm-up.

Tyler Bertuzzi has yet to take a shift in this game. He is on the bench, though.

Tyler Bertuzzi hasn't taken a single shift through the first 7.5 minutes of the first period.

Bertuzzi gets his first shift at the 9:30 mark

Bertuzzi now taking first shift midway through the first period.

Keefe sitting Bertuzzi is bizarre.

I can't wait for a new coaching staff.

Fans Reaction To Bertuzzi's Benching

The Toronto faithful were quick to crack jokes on why Keefe benched Bertuzzi as its true reason has been relatively unknown.

#LeafsForever update. Now hearing Bertuzzi was benched because he ate Keefe's last donut right before Sheldon was about to make his rousing pre-game speech.

Did Bertuzzi eat Keefes dessert?

Bertuzzi was benched because he took too long having his pre game dart and monster energy drink

Tyler Bertuzzi's Benching Even More Puzzling Given His Lineup Placement

One of the most troubling parts of Bertuzzi's benching was how he was projected to play on the Maple Leafs' first line tonight alongside Auston Matthews and Max Domi.

Leafs lines during warmup vs WSH Mar. 20/24

Bertuzzi - Matthews - Domi
Knies - Tavares - Nylander
McMann - Holmberg - Robertson
Dewar - Kampf - Gregor

Rielly - McCabe
Benoit - Timmins
Edmundson - Liljegren

Woll (starter)

Eventually, though, Sheldon Keefe felt his message got across and Bertuzzi was able to get some action. He quickly made a noteworthy play by being the net front presence on Auston Matthews for Matthews' 57th of the year.


Hopefully, Sheldon Keefe and Tyler Bertuzzi are fine now as the Leafs will need Bertuzzi playing at his best for a potentially deep playoff run.

As seen on Hockey Feed - Concerning situation for Tyler Bertuzzi in current game
March 20   |   861 answers
Tensions Emerge Between Sheldon Keefe and Tyler Bertuzzi

Did Sheldon Keefe make the right decision to bench Tyler Bertuzzi?

Yes35841.6 %
No50358.4 %
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