Sheldon Keefe makes shocking admission about the Leafs following loss to Blue Jackets

Mike Armenti
December 15, 2023  (1:42 PM)

Photo credit: NHL

Make no mistake about it, the Leafs coming back last night and erasing a 5-goal deficit to force overtime was very exciting for the fans, but it masked many of the errors and shortcomings displayed in the 40 minutes prior.

The Columbus Blue Jackets is currently the 2nd-worst team in the Eastern Conference according to the NHL standings, so for the Leafs to have surrendered a 5-0 head start to the Jackets like that - it didn't sit too well with anyone before the comeback had begun. Even head coach Sheldon Keefe doubted his group, admitting that scoring 5 wasn't what he was expecting after 40 minutes.
"We didn't talk about coming back in the game or anything like that. We talked about competing. We talked about stopping the bleeding defensively.

The goal wasn't to come back for me. The goal I set for the group was to try to get to 20 shots in the period. With that, you are hoping it encourages the guys to attack the net and shoot the puck." - Keefe on the Leafs' 3rd period comeback

Keefe just wanted the team to show some positive signs, even in a loss. He was under no misconceptions about how his team played over the course of the full 60 minutes. At the end of the day, he was happy to get a point out of it, but he knows full well that his team didn't deserve it, given how the first 40 minutes went.
"Obviously, a lot of what went on tonight is not acceptable, but we remained positive throughout. In a lot of ways, it wasn't really our night. I thought the guys went out and at least gave it a valiant effort toward making it our night. We get a very important point out of it."

The Leafs don't have much time to stop and pick up the pieces, as they welcome ex-Leafs GM Kyle Dubas back to Scotiabank Arena on Saturday for the first time since he was let go back in May. I'm sure Keefe is hoping for a much better effort from his group over the full 60 minutes against his former boss.
15 DECEMBRE   |   1108 ANSWERS
Sheldon Keefe makes shocking admission about the Leafs following loss to Blue Jackets

How do you feel about the Leafs' loss to Columbus on Thursday?

Can't win 'em all988.8 %
I'm still upset with the effort through 40 mins67761.1 %
I'm actually happy they got a point33330.1 %
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