Maple Leafs coach clears air with players after critical comments

TORONTO — Sheldon Keefe met with probably the most Toronto Maple Leafs throughout apply Wednesday to explain his comments that adopted a 4-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday.

“I used some of the wrong words to try to describe what I was trying to describe, which was that the difference in the game I find was we weren’t able to produce, whether it was power play or 5-on-5,” the Maple Leafs coach stated. “That’s really the difference with all the puck time we had but by no means was I meaning anything beyond that, which was what I wanted them to be sure of. It was important they knew where I was coming from.”

“I’m glad I did it because they didn’t know what I was talking about, so it helped them prepare to deal with you guys (the media) today.”

The Maple Leafs (2-2-0) host the Dallas Stars on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SNO, BSSW, ESPN+, SN NOW), two days after their 2nd loss in 4 video games to start out the season.

“Our best people have not found their rhythm,” Keefe stated Monday. “The difference between us and Arizona is we have elite players. Our elite players didn’t play like elite players today, couldn’t make a difference, so in that sense the game is going to be close.”

Video: Gostisbehere propels Coyotes previous Maple Leafs in win

Keefe stated the Maple Leafs had the puck 75 to 80 % of the time within the first and 3rd duration however have been not able to take regulate of the sport. They have been 1-for-5 with the man-advantage and allowed two power-play objectives.  

“I talked to him today,” ahead Mitchell Marner stated. “He explained what he meant to say and how it came out and everything like that. I’ll leave it at that. We have closed doors here for a reason and we have talks without you guys for a reason. We had that talk today, we understand, we’re grown men.

“That’s a part of this recreation is to speak to each other and provide an explanation for what you intended. I don’t believe somebody used to be harm by means of the comments or anything else like that. It used to be the management guys. I have no idea who else he talked to, however he talked to me needless to say. It’s all just right.”

Auston Matthews said he wasn’t bothered by the remarks.

“What’s stated within the media and what is stated in the back of those doorways is perhaps other than how it is interpreted within the media,” Matthews said. “This is my 7th yr right here now and I roughly know the way it really works now. The conversations that cross on in the back of closed doorways with out media are extra typically discussions and communications than harping on guys.”

It was not the first time that Keefe was critical with postgame comments; he said he thought the Maple Leafs “hung (goalie Matt) Murray out to dry” following a 4-3 season-opening loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 12.

“I feel we must at all times be cognizant of the phrases we’re the usage of and the way we’re speaking,” Keefe said. “At occasions feelings get the most productive folks on this recreation or in any aggressive surroundings. You wish to keep up a correspondence neatly. That’s the most important piece as a pace-setter.”

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