Former Leafs enforcer goes on epic rant about Sheldon Keefe's brutal usage of the core

Matt Garland
February 9, 2024  (2:03 PM)

Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe
Photo credit: NHL

The Toronto Maple Leafs have relied on their top three stars Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner more this season than in previous years. If the top three are having an off night, chances are, the two points will be going to the other team.

During the last stretch of games, the Leafs have really struggled with their scoring, which really shouldn't be a problem when you look at their roster. When looking at the numbers, it tells a real story of how the secondary scoring has really dried up.
Former NHL veteran and current co-host of the Leafs Morning Take podcast went into an epic rant unleashing havoc on the lack of secondary scoring on the Maple Leafs.
"Since December 4th Domi has four goals, Kampf has three goals, Knies has two goals, McMann two goals, Holmberg two goals, Gregor two goals. Bertuzzi one goal since December 1st, twenty seven games for $5.5M. If your not putting the puck in the net what the hell are you doing? You better be a shut down man, an energy man, a physical body punishing guy, a PKer supreme, blocking shots. You better do all that stuff, but no. The Core 4 has to go out and do all that sh*t too. Whether you want to blame Keefe for putting the load on them and not giving them the opportunity. The production just isn't there from the depth players on the front end at all."

In recent weeks, the Leafs have lost the likes of David Kampf and Calle Jarnkrok to injury, meaning that their PK responsibilities have fallen on the stars. Obviously, this leads to more fatigue and less rest in between shifts during a game, which can ultimately impact the scoring as well as time passes and guys begin to wear out. More than anything, Rosehill just really wants the Leafs' coaching staff to spread out some of the assignments to free up the top dogs to do what they do best - score in bunches and win games.
It will be imperative for head coach Sheldon Keefe and his coaching staff to get more out of the other players on the roster. It is Keefe's responsibility to put his players in the best situation for success. Bertuzzi, for example, is having his worst statistical season of his career, scoring only 6 goals and 21 points in 48 games. He's averaging 15:44 in ice time, the lowest since his rookie year of 2017-18 with Detroit. Don't you think it's far past time for the Leafs to move him up with Matthews and Marner and try to get him going again? How about Max Domi? In a very limited run with Mitch Marner this season, Domi looked incredible. Why has Sheldon Keefe not gone back to that?
There are some very important questions that need answers in Toronto, but why Sheldon Keefe isn't doing more to get some of his complementary players more involved is certainly near the top of the list.
Former Leafs enforcer goes on epic rant about Sheldon Keefe's brutal usage of the core

Do you think the Leafs' top players are being over-utilized?

Yes, definitely61467.8 %
No, they need to earn their paychecks29232.2 %
Latest 10 stories