Sheldon Keefe forced to have difficult conversation with Pontus Holmberg

Sometimes, this is needed to get a player going.



The Toronto Maple Leafs were defeated by the Original 6 rival Boston Bruins on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena, and gathered for practice at their facility earlier today in an effort to get their game back in order. 

Forward Pontus Holmberg skated in less than 10 minutes of ice time in last night's game, and head coach Sheldon Keefe was seen having a lengthy conversation with him near the end of practice. And as Keefe put it, it was simply a chat about the fact that he has to demonstrate more if he intends on staying long term in the NHL. 

"The conversation was more of a reminder of the fact that if you want to play in the league every day on a good team, you have to bring it all the time," Keefe said of his talk with Holmberg. "In the last couple of games, as we have come back from the road trip — while we have liked his line, liked his game, and we believe in him — he has slipped a little bit.

On the first goal, in particular, he had an opportunity to kill a play early for us before they had a chance to get anywhere near our net. It is the type of play that I expect all of our players to manage in that situation, particularly for a young, hungry guy who is looking to solidify his place on the team and in the league. That is a spot that he has to be great in. He wasn’t.

In those cases, we need more. That is the difference between those that solidify themselves in the league and those that don’t." 

Holmberg has skated in 35 games this year, scoring three goals with high assists. 

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