Sheldon Keefe reveals why he demoted Max Domi.
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Sheldon Keefe reveals why he demoted Max Domi.

Sheldon Keefe explains why he made the decision to bump down Max Domi on Sunday.

Jonathan Larivee

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe made his first significant change to his lineup on Sunday and unfortunately that came at the expense of veteran National Hockey League forward Max Domi.

In an article published earlier today I covered the fact that Domi was bumped down from the team's second line on Sunday and would instead be anchored to the third line for Monday's matchup against Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks. At the time Keefe had not had the chance to explain his decision to make the move, but he has since spoken to the media about that decision.

According to the Leafs head coach, Domi has simply failed to be responsible enough with the puck in the offensive zone and that has resulted in him moving Calle Jarnkrok up to the second line with John Tavares and William Nylander to replace Domi.

"My focus with Max is how he manages the puck offensively," said Keefe on Sunday. "If you don’t take care of puck offensively you have to defend that much more. We want to do a better job when we lose the puck, but in Max’s case it’s how he can keep his group on offence more."

Domi will now be demoted to the third line where he will play alongside forward Matthew Knies and rookie forward Fraser Minten, although there's been no indication if this is a temporary shift or something more long term. The one thing that is certain is that Keefe has not been happy with Domi's performance through 2 games this season, and is sending a clear message to the Leafs newcomer.