Sheldon Keefe attempting to flag down an official
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Sheldon Keefe's latest lineup decision is a bit of a head-scratcher

Published February 6, 2024 at 5:40 PM
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

After a 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs returned to practice this afternoon. Following the game last night, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe blasted his team in front of the media comparing their play, specifically on the powerplay, to that of peewee hockey.

With his comments at the forefront of everyone's minds, it was a bit of a surprise that Keefe did not make many line changes at practice. All lines remained intact, which means Noah Gregor gets another opportunity on the third line with Max Domi and Nicholas Robertson.

Knies - Matthews - Marner
Bertuzzi - Tavares - Nylander
Gregor - Domi - Robertson
McMann - Holmberg - Reaves

Rielly - Brodie
Benoit - McCabe
Giordano - Liljegren
Lagesson - Timmins


Speaking of Robertson, the young Leaf once again played under ten minutes last night, just 8:38 to be exact, and many wonder if Keefe is just not a fan of his game. Robertson has played very well of late, although he was minus-2 last night. He has generated plenty of scoring chances in his limited ice time and should be given an opportunity to play a little higher in the lineup, even if only a few shifts here and there to start out.

Understandably, Keefe wants a guy that can create space for Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, but Matthew Knies hasn't exactly been outstanding lately in terms of his production. In fact, Knies has just 2 points in his last 10 games, while averaging around 14 minutes per game. Robertson has been much more effective with 5 points in his last 10 games in very limited ice time, albeit against lesser competition.

Once again, Keefe's stubbornness is getting in the way of his coaching as he keeps things status quo. Even though he has threatened to make line changes, he has yet to follow through with them unless forced to by injury or illness. At some point, something's got to give.

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February 6   |   1029 answers
Sheldon Keefe's latest lineup decision is a bit of a head-scratcher

Should Robertson get a lengthy opportunity in the top-six?

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