Monday, November 30

Sheldon Keefe

Robertson has done his part to earn a job with the Leafs, ‘hasn’t had any lapses’
Hockey, Maple Leafs, NHL, Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs

Robertson has done his part to earn a job with the Leafs, ‘hasn’t had any lapses’

Article content continuedWhat stood out the most to Robertson, skating in his first game since scoring 55 goals last season for the Peterborough Petes, during his first NHL look?“Probably that there were no fans,” Robertson said with a chuckle. “It was a good experience for me. I learned I can keep up with the speed and it was a lot of fun.”Trying to keep pace shouldn’t be an issue for the energetic, darting Robertson. He helped push the play on the forecheck against the Canadiens, and perhaps the biggest question Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe has is whether Robertson can withstand the physical nature of the Blue Jackets.To this point, there has been nothing to suggest Robertson would be in over his head.“What you could read into it is that we continue to believe in him and he hasn’t had an...
Tavares, Leafs ready to ‘chase Stanley Cup as Phase 4 begins on Sunday
Hockey, John Tavares, Maple Leafs, NHL, Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs

Tavares, Leafs ready to ‘chase Stanley Cup as Phase 4 begins on Sunday

John Tavares figured he would spend part of the day on Sunday deciding which last-minute items to jam into his luggage with the Maple Leafs heading into the bubble.The Leafs captain is planning for a long stay in the secure zone, and knows what he would love to bring out of it: The Stanley Cup.Tavares isn’t taking the chance to not only play hockey in the midst of the coronavirus global pandemic, but to try to win the Cup, for granted. Neither are his Leafs teammates.“In the big picture, we’re fortunate to be back playing and have the opportunity to compete for the Stanley Cup,” Tavares said on Saturday after the Leafs had their last pre-bubble practice at the Ford Performance Centre.“We know what a lot of people are going through, what the world’s going through, society, and to ...
Keefe not worried that pucks regularly getting past Andersen in Leafs scrimmages
Auston Matthews, Frederik Andersen , Hockey, Maple Leafs, NHL, Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tyson Barrie

Keefe not worried that pucks regularly getting past Andersen in Leafs scrimmages

As the pucks fly past Frederik Andersen, Sheldon Keefe isn’t getting his hackles up.On Sunday, Andersen allowed five goals as Team Matthews beat Team Andersen 5-0 in the third scrimmage of Maple Leafs camp at the Ford Performance Centre, a day after Andersen allowed six goals in a 6-2 loss.Keefe didn’t anticipate losing any sleep on Sunday night, nor did the Leafs coach think Andersen would.“I’m not too concerned about anything that really is happening in these scrimmages, whether it’s the goalie or any of our players,” Keefe said. “They have enough enough mental toughness and intelligence to be able to shrug these things off and stay moving forward with preparation.“You would like to see it not go in as much. Fred is experienced and smart enough to know that there’s a number of ...
Matthews feeling ‘a bit better’ every day as Leafs move into second week of camp
Auston Matthews, Hockey, Maple Leafs, NHL, Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tyson Barrie

Matthews feeling ‘a bit better’ every day as Leafs move into second week of camp

Some good news from Auston Matthews’ corner as the Maple Leafs hit the second week of training camp.“Every day, I’m starting to feel a bit better,” the Leafs centre said on Sunday following scrimmage at the Ford Performance Centre.“I’m just trying to take it day by day, do everything that I can to get myself prepared for the ice sessions and trying to get back to the regular routine during the season. I think things are progressing better and better every day.”Matthews’ road back to the resumption of National Hockey League play was sidetracked when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late June, and even when it’s a highly tuned professional athlete involved, there’s no way of predicting how a recovery would evolve for anyone who has tested positive.What became more clear as the Lea...
Extended break gave Leafs captain Tavares chance to get his body right
Hockey, John Tavares, Maple Leafs, NHL, Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs

Extended break gave Leafs captain Tavares chance to get his body right

John Tavares didn’t like his overall consistency during the 2019-20 regular season.The Maple Leafs captain figured his play mirrored what unfolded with the team as a whole.“I had some really good stretches of hockey and then I felt at times I wasn’t as wasn’t as consistent as I’d like to be and I think that coincides with kind of the way things went for us as a team,” Tavares said on Friday.Tavares might not have met his personal standard, but he wasn’t exactly a drag on the Leafs. The 29-year-old centre had 60 points in 63 games and the Leafs were eighth in the Eastern Conference (in points percentage) when the NHL went on pause on March 12.“Last summer, coming off a really good year, a busy year, I had the oblique (issue) lingering for a long time and just didn’t have the type ...
Leafs’ Matthews honoured with Lady Byng nomination, but could be “more physical in general”
Auston Matthews, Columbus Blue Jackets, Hockey, Maple Leafs, NHL, Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs

Leafs’ Matthews honoured with Lady Byng nomination, but could be “more physical in general”

Auston Matthews’ propensity for avoiding the penalty box while performing at a high level has been recognized by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.The Maple Leafs star, along with Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Ryan O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues, has been voted as one of the three finalists for the 2019-20 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.All three centres are deserving of the award, which goes “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”During a Zoom call on Thursday, Matthews acknowledged the honour in being voted as a Lady Byng finalist — he mentioned being a fan of former Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk, who won the Lady Byng four times — but copped...
Nothing being handed to Robertson as Keefe notes competition for spots at Leafs camp
Hockey, Maple Leafs, NHL, Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs

Nothing being handed to Robertson as Keefe notes competition for spots at Leafs camp

Not that we expected anything otherwise, but Nick Robertson won’t be gifted a spot on the Maple Leafs’ post-season roster.Those 55 goals that Robertson scored for the Peterborough Petes in 2019-20? They’re so last year, in a sense.“He needs to find a way to be effective in all areas of the game,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said on Tuesday of the Leafs’ 2019 second-round pick. “He has been very successful, in particular this past year, in proving himself to be an elite goal-scorer at the junior level.“Trying to find his way to getting the right timing to find space to get shots and use his strengths offensively, there is that part of it. But I think as he is going to learn, if he hasn’t already here in the first couple of days, that it’s a lot harder to do those things at this leve...