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Leafs captain John Tavares has shocking reaction to being called out


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Mike Armenti
March 30, 2024  (11:26)
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Leafs captain John Tavares bumps some fists at the Leafs bench following a big goal
Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Following a horrendous performance against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe sounded off on his team for their loose, careless, irresponsible play against a good team, identifying his captain, John Tavares, as one of the players he was most frustrated with. Both Keefe and Auston Matthews used the word "immature" in their post-game media availabilities, in reference to how the Leafs played in the 6-3 loss and Keefe really drove home the point that he expects better of Tavares, especially on nights where the rest of the team is making blunder after blunder.

Following the loss and after having heard what his head coach had to say, John Tavares spoke with the media ahead of Thursday's win against the Washington Capitals. Surprisingly, Tavares not only took what Sheldon Keefe had to say to heart - he agreed with him and accepted full responsibility.
"I think, especially the captain, you really want to be at the top of the list for of being accountable and setting the standard and the way we need to play."

Tavares hasn't had the best season overall, but he has really come alive of late, producing 12 points in his last 10 games. He has often been referred to as "Captain Consistency" for his ability to defy age and continue to rack up points at a very consistent rate. Unfortunately, for much of this year, he hasn't had much puck luck. But over the last 10-15 games, he has really turned things around - and at just the right time for the Leafs with the playoffs just around the corner.
You have to admire how Tavares carries himself, especially under the intense scrutiny within the Toronto market. Being called out by your coach is never easy and with how Tavares has responded, it really does make you appreciate his calm, stoic demeanor even more. Also, with the captain holding himself accountable the way he did, it sends a message to the rest of the guys in the locker room to hold themselves accountable as well. Tavares is leading by example and that's one of the reasons why he's so respected around the league.
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30 MARS   |   388 ANSWERS
Leafs captain John Tavares has shocking reaction to being called out

John Tavares has scored 23 goals for the Leafs this season. Do you think he'll hit 30 goals before the end of the season?

Yes6917.8 %
No31982.2 %
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