Sheldon Keefe calls fans in Toronto a “major distraction.”

Sheldon Keefe calls fans in Toronto a “major distraction.”

Head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs Sheldon Keefe feels the fans are hurting his team.

Jonathan Larivee

The Toronto Maple Leafs suffered a tough loss at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday and following the game Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe pointed the finger at someone he doesn't often criticize, the fans.

After the Leafs fell by a score of 5-4, Keefe spoke to the media and expressed his discontent at the fact that the fans in Toronto had proven to be a significant distraction for his team during the course of the game.

"That’s a major distraction. It doesn't help us," said Keefe of the rising temperature of the crowd when Matthews was 1 goal away from #70 on the season.

Although Keefe did in fact call the fans a major distraction and did in fact place a little blame at their feet for the Maple Leafs faltering on Saturday night, it was clear that Keefe doesn't hold it against those fans. The Maple Leafs bench boss understands why they were so excited and even chided himself for allowing himself to get caught up in the excitement of the moment as well.

"It's exciting," admitted Keefe. "I get it ... And now you’re feeding it. I'm feeding it. I want it to happen, I wanted it for the fans."

Unfortunately for Keefe, Matthews and those fans they did not get to witness goal #70 for Matthews on Saturday night. Matthews will have two more chances to do it before the end of the regular season, but neither of those will be on home ice.