In his second season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, head coach Sheldon Keefe has guided the group to an NHL-best 38 factors by means of video games accomplished on Mar. 8. His focus to play a greater defensive sport has resonated along with his gamers because the group reaches the halfway level of the season.
Ahead Zach Hyman is not shocked, given he had a preview of Keefe’s teaching fashion when he performed for the Toronto Marlies throughout the 2015-16 season.
“I feel his biggest power is his communication, his skill to speak to gamers primarily based on who the participant is,” Hyman mentioned of Keefe. “I feel he understands what a participant wants and, I assume, the right way to communicate to that particular person and it could be completely different.”
After 5 seasons with the Marlies that included a Calder Cup Championship in 2018, Keefe was promoted to the Toronto Maple Leafs to exchange head coach Mike Babcock on Nov. 20, 2019. In his time with the Leafs, he has posted a file of 45-21-7 over two partial seasons.
On Tuesday, the Maple Leafs open a three-game set towards the Winnipeg Jets, led by head coach Paul Maurice.
Like Keefe, Maurice began his NHL teaching profession in his 30’s and Toronto’s bench boss has admired how the veteran coach had performed himself over his 23 seasons within the league.
“I’ve nice respect for him,” Keefe mentioned of Maurice, “Initially, the longevity he is had within the league and the success he is had, but additionally how he handles himself, for me as a man earlier than teaching within the NHL.”
Maple Leafs defenseman Zach Bogosian performed for each Keefe and Maurice. In a copycat league the place types can usually be related, there are distinctive twists that coaches will make use of to place their stamp on a membership.
“I feel that has one thing to do with, possibly his age. He is youthful on the teaching finish of issues,” Bogosian mentioned of Keefe. “He brings his work boots day-after-day and makes certain we’re feeding off that.”
The North Division has seen a pair of teaching modifications. The Montreal Canadiens dispatched Claude Julien on Feb. 24 and put in Dominique Ducharme as interim coach. The Calgary Flames fired Geoff Ward and changed him with veteran coach Darryl Sutter on Mar. 4. With voices altering regularly, the constant message within the room for each the Jets and Leafs have served them effectively.
Each groups come into this week’s three-game set with equivalent 7-3-0 data of their previous ten video games. With only one prior assembly between these groups (a 3-1 victory for Toronto on Jan. 18), The Jets may put a dent into Toronto’s six-point lead within the North Division
Winnipeg is aided by the addition of ahead Pierre-Luc Dubois, acquired in a commerce with Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 23.
“Irrespective of how they use him or who they play him with he is so much to deal with.”, mentioned Keefe
The Leafs bought an in depth take a look at Dubois when he scored three objectives and added an help in a five-game qualifying-round sequence towards the Blue Jackets final summer season.
Dubois has 4 objectives and two assists in 9 video games this season with the Jets.