Sheldon Keefe rips Toronto's home playoff record

The Leafs haven't had much success on home ice so far.



The Toronto Maple Leafs finally exercised some demons last week, advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2004 with yet another thrilling overtime road victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning. They soon found themselves matched up against another foe from the Sunshine State in the Florida Panthers, who stunned the sports world by taking down the 65-victory Boston Bruins in their first round series. 

However, one thing that hasn't exactly gone well for Toronto is their play on home ice. Their lone victory in front of their fans at Scotiabank Arena came in the form of the 7-2 blowout win over the Lightning in Game 2 of their series; they dropped Games 1 and 5, and also now find themselves trailing the Panthers one game to none after the visiting Cats earned a 4-2 triumph on Tuesday night in the series opener.

The Leafs know that if they have any intention of advancing to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2002, they'll have to clean up their home ice play - especially when they're the ones with home ice advantage. 

"It certainly is a topic around here in terms of handling that better no matter where we are playing," head coach Sheldon Keefe said of his team's play on home ice. "You should be able to play the same. I think we got off to a fine start last night — we had some pace, got out of our zone well, earned the power plays through that process, and we had a chance to take hold of the game and didn’t. It faded from there."

"At home, you should never fade. That is the thing that has happened for us. We have to fix that. No better time to do it than tomorrow."

The Leafs and Panthers resume their series with Game 2 tonight starting at 7:00 PM EST.