Keefe and Matthews comment on criticism of the Leafs' inconsistency in March

Ryan Smitheram
March 22, 2023  (8:31 PM)

So far this month the Leafs are 5-4-1 but still hold a three point lead over Tampa for home ice advantage in the first round. The Leafs' struggles have been magnified since the trade deadline simply because the trades were supposed to make the Leafs better. That, according to many fans and media has not happened.

Auston Matthews was asked about the Leafs play of late to which he responded by saying, "I don't necessarily think it's a great excuse for the way we've been playing. A little bit too much highs & lows. We need to find a little bit more consistency."
Matthews' remarks are almost the complete opposite of Sheldon Keefe's who was asked the same question.
"We've beaten New Jersey. We've beaten Carolina. We've beaten Edmonton. We've taken Colorado to a shootout. All the best teams in the league, we've fared pretty well against in the last two weeks so to overthink anything too much, I don't think would be appropriate."
Keefe doesn't seem to mind that the Leafs have lost or been pushed to the brink by some of the league's weaker teams Matthews on the other hand, appears to be a little more concerned that the Leafs have struggled against weaker opponents.
The biggest reason for the inconsistency lately though would likely be the constant lineup shuffling by Keefe to see what works and what doesn't work, which is exactly what he should be doing with playoffs coming up. Knowing what does and doesn't work will allow him to shuffle lines in the playoffs, if needed, without questioning his decisions and hoping things work.
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