Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe addressing the media
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Sheldon Keefe Sparks Controversy with Comments on Rielly's Cross-Check Incident

Published February 11, 2024 at 5:54 PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs lost another disappointing game against the Ottawa Senators last night. In the dying moments, Morgan Reilly let his frustrations out with a violent cross check on Ridley Grieg. Head coach Sheldon Keefe is now facing criticism for his take on the situation.

Keefe Applauds Reilly For Dirty Cross Check On Senators Player

The Leafs head coach did not shy away from saying how he really felt about the play. He went so far as to pat Reilly on the back, calling the play an 'appropriate' response to the situation.

"I thought it was appropriate."

Sheldon Keefe on Morgan Rielly's reaction to Ridly Greig's empty-net slapshot.

The head coach's full comments on the situation can be seen in the post below. Interestingly, Keefe notes that he expected the Department of Player Safety to look at the play, even though he felt it was an acceptable response. This could be interpreted to mean that Keefe is okay with his players crossing the line in certain situations.

While the passion is certainly appreciated, the expression of that passion was not. As such, Keefe is now facing backlash online for his comments on the situation.

Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Facing Criticism For Comment About Cross Check

Following his comments about the play, fans took to social media to express their concerns with the coach's mentality. After all, Keefe and the rest of the Leafs would be extremely upset if the shoe was on the other foot. What if it had been Auston Matthews scoring the empty netter and a Senators player cross checked him in the face?

Sheldon Keefe arguing for headshots as a response to having your feelings hurt is amazing. Surely he would be completely okay with one of his guys getting two handed in the mouth because the opponent got upset that they lost

There is a time and a place to stand up for yourself in everything, the NHL included. That being said, certain responses are never acceptable. Reilly could have offered to drop the gloves with Greig. He could have even instigated a fight. But a cross check to the face? That will always be crossing the line.

As seen on Keefe makes controversial comments in response to Rielly cross-check.
February 11   |   1514 answers
Sheldon Keefe Sparks Controversy with Comments on Rielly's Cross-Check Incident

Do you think Reilly should be suspended for the cross-check on Greig?

Yes62841.5 %
No88558.5 %
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