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Maple Leafs Quick Hits: O’Reilly’s Pressure & 1st Round Prep

In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs Quick Hits, I’ll take a look at two aspects of the team. First, I’ll look at how much pressure there might be on Ryan O’Reilly to perform well for his new team. Second, I’ll look at what Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe’s focus might be as he ends the regular season.


Quick Hit One: The Pressure on the Maple Leafs Ryan O’Reilly 

According to Kipper and Bourne, there is a lot of pressure on Ryan O’Reilly to perform well for the Maple Leafs. In the conversation included below, they emphasized that the Maple Leafs handpicked O’Reilly before other big names were traded. That indicates the importance Toronto placed on him.

O’Reilly was acquired early on in the trade deadline before other trades were made, which suggests that the Maple Leafs spent their assets on him before they considered anything else. 

Kipper and Bourne stressed that O’Reilly has to be a difference-maker for the Maple Leafs. They believe that he has to live up to the expectations placed on him. They acknowledge that O’Reilly is coming back from an injury and has only a few games left to get ready for the playoffs.

However, to O’Reilly’s credit, they also noted that he’s someone who puts a lot of time and effort into preparation. He also even has a mental strength coach to help him with his mental health. 

Listening to the interview, it’s hard to say what the twosome believes about O’Reilly. They did hint that, despite his positive attributes, the decision to acquire O’Reilly puts more pressure on him to perform well. By the way, last night against the Montreal Canadiens in a 7-1 win, O’Reilly had three assists and looked good on the ice.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Zach Aston-Reese Was Once a Big Scorer: Believe It!

Quick Hit Two: Head Coach Sheldon Keefe’s Focus as the Season Winds Down

In a recent interview, Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe spoke about what his focus was on as the regular season wound down. They were on his team’s habits, details, and structure. Those, he noted, were crucial when it mattered the most. They help a team set up long-term success.

Keefe noted that he wants his team to focus on the process and the details. In fact, he’s less worried about the results in the won/loss column. He believes that if the team gets their details and structure right, the good results (more often than not) will take care of themselves.

What key points did coach Keefe make specifically in the interview?

Coach Keefe made several key points in the interview:

  1. He is focused on his team’s habits, details, and structure. Those matter more than results.
  2. The team’s focus should be on the process and all the details, rather than winning or losing.
  3. The results will take care of themselves if the team gets their details and structure right.
  4. The team will still play to win.
  5. The focus on habits, details, and structure has been ongoing for some time.
  6. The team is good enough that, more often than not, they will get good results if they get their details and structure right.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Kampf, Aston-Reese & Lafferty



  1. Roy Peters

    April 9, 2023 at 9:28 am

    I hope Keefe keeps Marner, Matthews and Bunting together, he should also keep Tavares, O’Reilly, and Nylander together to have two scoring lines.

  2. Pingback: 10 Noteworthy Points from Maple Leafs' 7-1 Rout of Canadiens

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