Sheldon Keefe sends a clear message to Ryan Reaves.
Mike Russo  

Sheldon Keefe sends a clear message to Ryan Reaves.

The Maple Leafs enforcer has been the target of criticism this week and now his coach is joining in.

Jonathan Larivee

Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Ryan Reaves has been the target of a fair bit of criticism this week, and now it would appear as though his coach is also unhappy with the effort he has seen from Reaves through the first 14 games of the regular season.

National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman confirmed on Saturday that Keefe has benched Reaves on Saturday, with Keefe confirming the news himself. That means that Reaves will sit out at least Saturday's game against the Vancouver Canucks, and perhaps more beyond that depending on how Keefe feels about the situation.

Reaves has largely been ineffective for the Leafs this season outside of some physical play early on, recording no points on the season and currently sitting at a plus minus rating of -11 through just 12 games.

Reaves' replacement this evening is also a condemnation of how poorly he has played through those 12 games, with Keefe choosing to replace him with 27 year old forward Bobby McMann. McMann has just 10 games of NHL experience under his belt and at 27 years of age has been an American Hockey League player for the majority of his professional hockey career. McMann has 2 goals and 1 assist for a total of 3 points with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL this season.

McMann showed some fire earlier this week when defending one of his Toronto Marlies teammates, and that could very well be Keefe's motivation for inserting McMann into the lineup this evening instead of the veteran enforcer in Reaves.