Sheldon Keefe calls out hits to the head from the Panthers.

Sheldon Keefe calls out hits to the head from the Panthers.

Sheldon Keefe took a jab at the Florida Panthers on Saturday, commenting on the way the Panthers have been targeting his players.

Jonathan Larivee

The Toronto Maple Leafs have dug themselves an early hole in their second round series against the Florida Panthers and they will now face an uphill battle the rest of the way with rookie forward Matthew Knies unavailable for at least the next few games.

There's little doubt that the physical play from the Panthers has taken a toll on the Maple Leafs but the Panthers have also paid a price for that brand of play, giving the Leafs 7 power plays thus far in the series while only earning 2 of their own. On Saturday, Sheldon Keefe was asked about the discrepancy in penalty calls in this series and he used the opportunity to call out some of the hits that have been delivered to his players.

"We're getting hit in the head a lot, so there's that," said Keefe of the discrepancy. "The officials are making the calls, and there is a lot more out there too, but that's part of it. We have to remain disciplined."

No doubt the injury to the aforementioned Matthew Knies was fresh on Keefe's mind when making these comments. Knies suffered a head injury after being dragged down to the ice by Panthers' forward Sam Bennett, and Knies will now miss at least Game 3 and Game 4 while Bennett only received a minor penalty for the infraction.