Sheldon Keefe criticizes his team for missed opportunities, takes a subtle jab at shootouts

Published March 16, 2023 at 10:29

In Sheldon Keefe's mind, last night's loss OT to Colorado is just another missed opportunity for the Leafs to reach out and grab the extra point. The Leafs made several pushes in the game, but found it difficult to generate the usual number of chances, due in large to how well the Avs defended the neutral zone. Keefe suggested following the game that this was an issue for the Leafs all night.

"I thought the mobility of their defence was a real problem for us tonight, in terms of getting through the neutral zone and getting on the attack." - Keefe on the Avs' D corps making life miserable for the Leafs in the neutral zone

As far as how the Leafs handled themselves all night, they played sound defense as well in front of Ilya Samsonov, who stopped 28 of 29 shots, posting a 0.94 SV% and a .966 GAA. For Keefe, it was a good sign that his team was able to shut down a powerhouse like the Avs, but failing to capitalize on the chances they generated themselves was all the difference. You also got the sense that Keefe despises the shootout, given how he talks about it, referring to it as a glorified skills competition - an awful way to decide games.

"In such a tight game, we had a shot here or there that could have been the difference. In each (power play), we did have one really high quality look and didn't convert. That's what the game comes down to, and in the end, they win the skills competition." - Keefe on missed opportunities and losing via shootout

One has to wonder whether the GMs will discuss the subject of the shootout during this week's GM meetings. There have been rumblings that, although shootouts are fun for fans, coaches, executives and players dislike losing a game in that fashion and would prefer an extended run of 3-on-3 overtime play to determine a winner. There's no denying that 3-on-3 OT is the more exciting portion of extra time, even for the fans.

March 16   |   195 answers
Sheldon Keefe criticizes his team for missed opportunities, takes a subtle jab at shootouts

Do you like the shootout as a way to decide games? Or is extended 3-on-3 play the better option?

An extra 5 mins of 3-on-318695.4 %
Shootouts are great94.6 %
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