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Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe had some brutal comments for his top players after their recent loss at home to the lowly Arizona Coyotes, calling them out for not showing up enough over the course of the night.
“The difference between us and Arizona is that we have elite players," Keefe said. "And our elite players didn’t play like elite players.”
However, Keefe has made the decision to walk back his comments, saying that he used some of the wrong words in an attempt to get his message across.
"Well, I had a lot of other guys to talk with him about — just regular check-ins I have with all of our players — but that was on the list of things to discuss," Keefe said. "I guess I am glad I did because they didn’t know what I was talking about. I helped prepare them to deal with you guys today."
"It was a regular check-in with the guys, but it was on the list to discuss," he continued. "I used some of the wrong words to describe what I was trying to describe. The difference in the game was that we weren’t able to produce, whether on the power play or at five-on-five. That is really the difference with all of the puck time we had."
He then stressed that while he feels NHL coaches don't need to watch their language, it's important to be cognizant of the message.
"I don’t think so," he said. "It is a passionate sport. There is a lot of emotion in it. I don’t think we are at that point. I think we should always be cognizant of the words we are using and how we are communicating. At times, emotions maybe get the best of us in this game or in any competitive environment."
The Leafs will have a chance to get back on the winning side of things when they host the Dallas Stars tomorrow night.