Sheldon Keefe’s statement to his players before Game 5 has changed everything
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Sheldon Keefe’s statement to his players before Game 5 has changed everything

This is the turning point for the Maple Leafs:

Chris Gosselin

First, the Toronto Maple Leafs fell behind the Boston Bruins 3-1 in the series. Then, they won Game 5 in overtime in Boston. Then, they got the 2-1 win on Thursday and could eliminate the Bruins this weekend. This would be a brutal reminder of last year’s playoffs for the Bruins when they were leading 3-1 in their first round series against the Florida Panthers only to be eliminated in seven games as the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners.

When asked about what happened and what was said in the dressing room when facing elimination, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe shared with reporters what he told his players.

The bench boss told his team that they’re going to be remembered one way or another based on what happened next:

“So how do you want that to be and to look?”

The talk was enough for the Maple Leafs not to want to be humiliated yet again in another early round elimination and the players responded with their two best performances in the series. And let’s not forget without their best and first line center in Auston Matthews, who is questionable for Game 7 on Saturday.

When asked about the upcoming do or die contest, Keefe stated that his players have already played two Game 7s, and clearly they’ve shown how they can handle it.

“It is an elimination game.

"At the end of the day, all we have earned is another date on the schedule. As good as this feels and as proud of the group as you are for the effort they’ve put forth, the results that they’ve gotten, and how we have performed in these last few games to earn the next one, all we have done is earned that one. Boston has had this game essentially on the schedule all the way through.

"For the first time, we will go into Boston and everything is all the same in terms of both teams facing elimination.”

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