Max Domi, Sheldon Keefe call officiating into question ahead of Game 2

Dean Chaudhry
April 22, 2024  (6:02 PM)

Max Domi traversing through the neutral zone, looking to create some offense
Photo credit: Jerome Miron - USA Today Sports

Sheldon Keefe and the Toronto Maple Leafs are hoping that the referees are going to officiate Game 2 a little more fairly after a lopsided penalty sheet last game, primarily in reference to Max Domi and his soft slashing minor against Brad Marchand.

There is no denying the rivalry between the Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins continues to rise after all the recent playoff matchups. Boston's captain, Brad Marchand does a wonderful job at getting under his opponent's skin and it seemed to work in spades in Game 1 after he was able to draw a slashing minor against Max Domi. Unfortunately for the Maple Leafs, the Bruins ended up scoring on the ensuing power play, increasing their lead to 4-0 before the second period came to a close.
With both players battling and jostling for position on a neutral zone face-off, Domi slashed Marchand once on the leg before the puck was dropped but then slashed his gloves while the play was in progress right in front of the referee. After the game, Domi was asked if he was too emotional during the series opener, to which he responded:
"I mean, hey, we sent a message for sure and obviously came up a little bit short," Domi said. "But we did a lot of good things last game so just got to keep doing the good stuff."
Sheldon Keefe was posed a similar question but doesn't want to reign in Domi's intensity since that's more of a boon for the Maple Leafs than a hindrance:
"I don't need Max to change anything about who he is and how he plays. He's an important guy for us, and I love the intensity he brought the other night. He got caught on the penalty. I know their guy's probably going to get the same slash probably ten times in the rest of this series, and we'll see if he gets called on it. But I love Max's intensity."
Based on the comments post-game and the comments being made before tonight's Game 2 puck-drop, it sounds like the Maple Leafs felt like the officiating was very one-sided. There might be a legitimate beef for that as the Bruins got away with a few slashes, hooks, and checks from behind. Boston was 2 for 5 with their power play while the Maple Leafs were 0 for 3.
The Bruins also received 4 of the first 5 power plays and 5 of the first 7 handed out in the game, which directly correlated to the two power play goals scored by Jake DeBrusk in a span of 2:32 within the final 5 minutes of the second period, effectively nailing the coffin in Game 1.
The Maple Leafs not only have to solve Jeremy Swayman and his fantastic goaltender but they also need to find a way to shut down Marchand and his antics. As we all remember so well earlier in the year he tripped Timothy Liljegren into the boards - keeping him out of the lineup for awhile - and then later on he skated by the Leafs bench, mouthed off, and nobody responded which drew the ire of the media. If they can find a way to mitigate his presence, they should be on the road to recovering the series.
If Domi can find a way to play his natural game without finding himself stapled in the penalty box, the Maple Leafs will be in a good position to potentially tie the series before they head back home for Games 3 and 4. That's a tall task considering the emotional roller coaster ride that is a Maple Leafs-Bruins playoff series but there is a lot at stake and Toronto has to remain disciplined first and foremost.
Source: The Hockey News
'We'll See If He Gets Called On It': Maple Leafs' Sheldon Keefe Happy With Max Domi's Intensity Despite Slash, Wants Fair Officiating if Bruins' Brad Marchand Does the Same
APRIL 22   |   289 ANSWERS
Max Domi, Sheldon Keefe call officiating into question ahead of Game 2

Were the officials unfair in Game 1 of the Leafs/Bruins series?

Yes, the Bruins got away with a lot22577.9 %
No, the Maple Leafs were severely undisciplined6422.1 %
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