P.K. Subban blasts Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe

The former defenseman is calling out Toronto's bench boss!

Michael W.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews will soon be named the Rocket Richard Trophy winner as the National Hockey League's leading goal scorer after he racked up an astounding 69 goals, the most by any NHL player in a regular season campaign since Alex Ovechkin's output of 65 in 2007-08. 

His quest to become the first NHL player since Teemu Selanne in 1992-93 to reach the 70-goal mark was halted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the regular season finale. Matthews would admit that he certainly wanted the milestone, but that the overall success of the team is more important. 

"I wanted it for sure, but it just wasn’t meant to be," Matthews said of falling just short of 70 goals. "For myself, we look forward, you turn the page, and the most important thing is the team and the team’s success."

Meanwhile, head coach Sheldon Keefe said that the quest to reach 70 was a "distraction" and something "that doesn't help us", comments that former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman P.K. Subban took considerable umbrage with. 

“Is it that hard to say ‘you know what, thank God for Auston Matthews? We drafted this kid 1st overall, he's grown up in front of our eyes, and now he's one of the best players in the League, definitely one of the best goal scorers of all time! We’re so happy this has given our team a boost. It’s a major reason why we’re in the playoffs…’ Like, I could do it with my eyes closed! Why is it so hard to do that? You deflect and deflect and deflect - enough with the deflecting, just own it!" 

Subban then went on to compare Keefe's comments on Matthews to how Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper talks about superstar forward Nikita Kucherov, and that the leadership with the Bolts is superior to that of the Leafs. 

“Jon Cooper on the other side has Nikita Kucherov one point way from 100 assists! They come out, they say all the nice things about [Kucherov] and they own it as a team. And that’s why they played so well down the stretch,” Subban said of the Bolts. “Toronto’s been struggling because the leadership isn’t right. Why is it that you can't own it? It comes to you and it's a distraction? No! It's a distraction from the attention you're getting a coach! 

I'll tell you what the biggest distraction is! 4.4 goals against in your last five games! Your team has played well under expectations the whole season!" 

Subban has never been shy about speaking his mind, whether it was on the ice during his playing career or now as a broadcaster/podcaster. And there are those who are going to agree with his comments on what Keefe had to say regarding Matthews - where do you stand? 

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