Keefe takes A Shot At Recently Traded Winger

Published March 3, 2023 at 4:13 PM

The Toronto Maple Leafs earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night, and head coach Sheldon Keefe had some interesting comments in his post-game press conference.

Sheldon Keefe praised newly acquired players and may have taken a shot at recently traded winger


Keefe praised the team's newly acquired players for their gritty play and competitive edge, suggesting a commitment to building a team that prioritizes physicality and toughness, especially in the bottom six forward positions.

After the game, Keefe noted that the team's success was largely due to their willingness to contest pucks along the wall, take hard hits, and protect their net, in other words, for their gritty play and competitive edge. Keefe highlighted the performances of newly acquired players Acciari and Lafferty, who stood out to him for their tenacity and willingness to battle for the puck. He also praised O'Reilly for his ability to take care of the game in the third period and help secure the win.

The recent trade of Pierre Engvall to the New York Islanders for a third-round pick seems to reinforce this commitment to physicality and toughness, as Engvall was criticized for his lack of physical play and inability to contest pucks along the wall.

Here's the whole statement from Keefe:

"Guys defended really hard. Once we had the lead, I thought we just protected our net well. Looking at some of the plays where we advanced pucks, we took some real hard hits tonight in that third period to advance the play.

That is what it takes. Acciari and Lafferty were two players who stood out to me for really contesting pucks on the wall to get those out. That is what it takes to win. That is why you acquire those guys. The puck is in question on the wall, you know you are going to take a big hit, and the puck advances. It gets out.

Those are the kinds of things that help you win. I thought O'Reilly was a clinic in the third period in terms of taking care of the game and helping get the win."


March 3   |   970 answers
Keefe takes A Shot At Recently Traded Winger

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