Sheldon Keefe’s latest cry for help should get GMs attention

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
5 months ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs are as inconsistent as they come and it’s starting to weigh on head coach Sheldon Keefe. After going on an absolute tear in California, winning four straight games, the Maple Leafs have made their way to Western Canada, and after blowing another multi-goal lead, have gone winless in their past four games.
While Keefe has been rather even keel for the most part this season when speaking to the media, there’s no doubt about it, the Maple Leafs bench boss just sent a huge message to the players in the dressing room, but also GM Brad Treliving.
After the Leafs recent loss to the Edmonton Oilers, Keefe spoke to reporters and admitted he’s looking for some reliable players:
Keefe went on to mention it’s not necessarily the players who have been here for a while and seemed to be pointing the finger at both the forwards and defencemen who are newer to the team. He’s looking for answers and his message was sent to Treliving that this group is still very much a work in progress.

Treliving, Come On Down!

While there’s been a lot of talk about Keefe’s job security of late, there’s very little doubt to me that the ball should be in Treliving’s court to do something. Toronto has dealt with a slew of injuries throughout the entire season, they’re currently playing their third-string goalie like a 1-A starter and Keefe’s had to piece together a defensive corps that everyone around the league is talking about for all the wrong reasons.
Treliving needs to get off his hands and do something about it. Before it’s too late. Toronto’s slipped out of the Atlantic division playoff spots and have crept their way down to the wildcard positions after their latest loss to the Oilers. The Leafs GM needs to address the blueline via trade and considering he’s admitted to the media already this season that he’s well aware of the holes on defense and that he feels two new d-men would help, so far, absolutely nothing to show for it.
Morgan Reilly is playing out of his mind and the same can be said about Simon Benoit, for what he was expected to bring. Jake McCabe has played physically and gives the Leafs something they don’t have a ton of, however, the rest of the D-corps has been very inconsistent and at times made some horrible reads that have cost the team victories. It’s time for the Leafs GM to get ahead of the trade market and upgrade the roster. We haven’t seen that once from Treliving yet this season.

Keefe Searching His Options for Answers

So who was Keefe referring to when he stated “we have to figure out, with all the new players we have, whether it’s forward or defense, who are we going to rely on in this moments?” Tyler Bertuzzi, Keefe’s looking at you, with six goals in 42 games. Max Domi, your four goals in 42 are included. Matthew Knies, of late, struggling and your coach wants some answers. The same can be said for Nick Robertson, who has been consistently inconsistent.
Don’t even get me started on David Kampf, TJ Brodie, and Mark Giordano, as all three veterans haven’t been themselves this season and are three of the Leafs that Treliving needs to consider upgrading. Good look with Kampf, after the Leafs’ GM handed him a four-year contract in the first few weeks on the job. Don’t even bring up the Ryan Reaves contract and having to move Sam Lafferty to Vancouver to make room. Lafferty is currently the one who got away in Toronto and would have been a great bottom-six forward that Keefe could have relied upon.
The Maple Leafs’ bench boss has been tinkering with his lines and rightfully so, as he’s searching for answers. The Pontus Holmberg experiment to me is a huge stretch and while I like Holmberg as a third-liner of the future, he’s not going to outplay Knies on a regular basis. But, desperate times call for desperate measures.
Keefe’s just doing his best with what he has at the moment and keeps dropping these subtle hints in the media to his boss about how the answers to the Maple Leafs problems may not necessarily be in Toronto already. While many are pointing the finger at Keefe and suggesting Craig Berube has the answers, the Maple Leafs head coach is letting his GM know his team has a bunch of holes and it would be nice if he’d address them in the very near future.

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