Reason for T.J. Brodie's scratch revealed by NHL Insider

Brodie was sat last night by Sheldon Keefe.



The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to take care of business yesterday against the Washington Capitals, rebounding from the previous night's loss against the Philadelphia Flyers with a dominant performance against Alex Ovechkin and company. By the time it was said and done, the Leafs had earned a 7-3 win and dealt the Capitals a costly setback. 

However, fans were quick to notice the fact that Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe elected to designate defenseman T.J. Brodie a healthy scratch, and opted to play Conor Timmins instead.

"Brods knows he hasn’t been at his best this season here, for most of the season, yet he’s taken on a lot for us," Keefe said about his decision. 

But now, NHL analyst Mike Johnson is revealing during an episode of of TSN's 'First Up' why he believes Brodie was sat last night against the Capitals. 

He said the following:

"He has been in grind it mode for quite some time this year. The last two seasons, Toronto has been so good in the regular season that not a lot has gone wrong and there has not been a lot for Sheldon Keefe to be antsy about... It was one of the best teams in the league, but that's not been the case [this year]... It hasn't been easy. It hasn't been without moments of frustration and wondering how it's going to work. I think that's what the T.J. Brodie scratching was all about. He's trying to find something that works."

"Brodie, for years, has been the one guy you would not think about scratching on the back end. You just plug him in and play, but that hasn't been the case this year. He just hasn't been as efficient this year... It speaks to the situation and the grind of what Keefe is feeling and the uncertainty about what is going to happen down the stretch. I still don't think he knows who is going to play with who on the back end. If the playoffs started tomorrow, I don't think he knows, even if healthy, who would be in the lineup."

The Leafs are next in action on Saturday night at home against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. Whether or not Brodie returns to the lineup remains to be seen. 

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