Max Domi spent lots of time in the penalty box last night
Photo credit: NHL

Sheldon Keefe makes surprising remarks about Domi's penalty-filled game

Published February 18, 2024 at 11:15

The Toronto Maple Leafs pounded the Anaheim Ducks 9-2 last night on the heels of another hat trick and five-point night from Auston Matthews and another two-goal, three-point game from Bobby McMann. Lost in the discussion as the post-game commentary focused on Matthews, McMann and Tyler Bertuzzi scoring his first goal in 20 games, was the play of Max Domi.

With John Tavares out of the lineup with an injury, Domi moved up to center the second line and may have played his best game as a Leaf. He was involved in everything. He fought Radko Gudas in the first period and drew two penalties, which the Leafs scored on, and had two assists on the night. He was also called for a hooking penalty and received a double-minor for roughing. Domi played just under 12 minutes and Sheldon Keefe would have liked to give him a little more, but couldn't thanks to the 2nd generation Leaf spending 11 minutes in the penalty box throughout the game.

While Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe isn't typically pleased with a player taking so many penalties, following the game, when asked about Domi's play, he gave a surprising response.

"It was tough to get Max minutes tonight because he was in the box a lot, but I loved his effort and just his passion."

Although Domi has just 6 points since January 1st, he appears to have found an extra gear to his game in recent weeks. He has done much better on the defensive side of the puck and has been creating countless chances in the offensive zone that the Leafs have struggled to capitalize on. Signed to a 1-year, $3M deal in July by the Leafs, Domi struggled the first half of the season, but as the games have gotten more intense with playoff races beginning to heat up, Domi has flourished. In 53 games, he has 27 points and is averaging 13 minutes per game while also winning over 50 percent of his faceoffs.

This is the Max Domi that the Leafs pursued in free agency. This was the guy that Brad Treliving thought could really help the Leafs come playoff time. It must feel good for the Leafs knowing that Domi appears to be turning things up a notch at the right time, in preparation of what everyone is hoping is a very long playoff run.

February 18   |   1086 answers
Sheldon Keefe makes surprising remarks about Domi's penalty-filled game

Has Max Domi begun to live up to your expectations of him in Toronto?

Yes79773.4 %
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