The Toronto Maple Leafs seem to be taking one step forward and two steps back in 2023-24, and unfortunately, the thing that continues to hold them back is their struggles on the blue line.
Sheldon Keefe calls out the Maple Leafs again
Unfortunately for Maple Leafs fans, they now have to once again watch as Head Coach Sheldon Keefe calls out his team after a disappointing loss.
Keefe compared Toronto's defensive breakdown to being less than «peewee stuff».
«This is the National Hockey League. That's peewee stuff,» Keefe said after the game. «You play on the power play in the National Hockey League, they should not get behind you coming out of the penalty box.»
Despite some solid additions in recent years like Jake McCabe
and Mark Giordano
, nothing has appeared to work on the Leafs blue line, and it has fans eagerly awaiting the March 8 trade deadline. One player on their own may not be able to fix this, but after the 3-2 loss to the Islanders, this team now finds themselves tied for fifth place in the Atlantic Division, and could keep slipping if things don't get figured out.
Sure, some of those things need to come from behind the bench, but unless the players on the ice can find a way to play with more effort and intensity defensively, this could be another incredibly disappointing year for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As Red on Hockey Patrol - Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe compares his players to a peewee hockey team