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Keefe Must Wonder: Is It Bad Luck, or Are the Maple Leafs Just Bad?

The Toronto Maple Leafs suffered their sixth loss in their last seven games. Was tonight’s game bad luck, or just bad play? It’s confusing.

Sheldon Keefe Toronto Maple Leafs
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The Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe must be frustrated. After Friday night’s game when the Calgary Flames beat his Maple Leafs by a score of 4-3, Keefe offered a mixed message. On one hand, he noted that his team didn’t give up many chances; and, at the same time he noted that they simply had to do better.

Related: Will Galchenyuk Start on Maple Leafs’ 2nd Line with Tavares & Nylander?

Is It Bad Luck, or Just Bad?

“Bad luck,” he called it. Yet, at the same time, he was critical of his team for putting themselves in a position where bad luck could happen. Were his team to be in the Flames’ defensive zone, bad luck would not have resulted in goals. But, alas, they were in their own zone; and there bad luck can be costly. Which it was.

The Flames improved their record to 15-13-3, and the team won for the fourth time in five games since the iconic Darryl Sutter became the new head coach. Conversely, the Maple Leafs have been in a slump. Coming off a four-day break, they dumped their third game in a row and their sixth in the last seven games.

The Maple Leafs Are No Longer Alone in First Place in the North Division

The Maple Leafs better watch out because the other teams are coming. Once alone by a lot at the top of the North Division, Toronto is now tied with the Edmonton Oilers for the top spot. In just over two weeks (March 3 to be exact), they have lost nine points on the field.

Tough luck, but as Keefe says the team “can do a whole-lot better.” In the video below, Keefe speaks to the media after the tough “bad luck” loss to the Flames.

We Can Do a Whole Lot Better!

Keefe Makes Some Key Points in His Media Interview

During his interview, Keefe made the following key points:

Point One: Hockey is a tough sport to play when you give up a goal on the first shot on net.

Point Two: When things are going bad, they really go bad. He noted that the team had four days to regroup, then immediately playing from behind – tough luck!

Point Three: When your luck goes, it really goes. The Maple Leafs tie the game, lost a draw when they are killing a penalty, and the puck hits off our players’ rear ends and bounces into the net – tough luck.

Point Four: When the luck is bad, “that’s the way it goes.”

Keefe was not so happy tonight

Point Five: Tough luck or not, we have to do better. Keefe noted that the team cannot continue to put itself into positions where pucks are directed at their own net. The team has to play in the other team’s zone more.

Point Six: We can do better. The team didn’t give up many chances, but the ones they gave up went in. That said, there are things they can do a lot better to prevent goals from going in.

Related: Three Reasons Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas Is Happy with Team Defense

Going Forward?

From what I saw, the Flames were lucky to pull out the win. Keefe was right about the bad luck. That said, it isn’t the first time over the past few games where the Maple Leafs had outplayed the opponents and still lost. Something has to change.

Hmmm. Keefe seemed clearly frustrated and confused. I can see why.



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