Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe has been fined $25,000 for “demeaning conduct directed at the officials” during the Leafs 5-4 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.
Keefe vehemently objected to what he felt were two missed calls, and he shared his displeasure with the men in stripes.
The first was for a possible interference on a pick play that led to the Blues’ game-tying goal. The play was similar to one from last year’s playoffs that saw a penalty called on Toronto’s Justin Holl, negating a Leafs goal.
On Wednesday, there was no call against the Blues. Not that there necessarily should’ve been. This appeared to be incidental contact, where the other was a beneficial pick where the attacking team initiated contact.
We haven’t had a nice Sheldon Keefe meltdown in a while pic.twitter.com/DuQPfMC0E8
— Rink Rat Report (@RinkRatReport) December 28, 2022
(Disregard the broadcasters on this clip who misinterpreted Keefe’s calls for interference as a possible goaltender interference, of which there was none on this play.)
Keefe’s second complaint was for a missed high stick that caused injury – which would have resulted in a a double-minor penalty – when Blues forward Brandon Saad caught Toronto forward Zach Aston-Reese up high.
This is about as obvious of a high stick as you can get and there wasn’t a call. What a joke pic.twitter.com/65K8j2b6W8
— Michael (@mic_mazz) December 28, 2022
Keefe took a second look on the replay monitor before blowing up at the officials.
his name is Sheldon Keefe and he’s not pleased pic.twitter.com/8plZNdGypU
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 28, 2022
With no penalty called on the play, the officials didn’t have the benefit of replay, like Keefe did. They can only review plays where a major, match, or high-sticking double-minor was called on the play. And, no, you can’t call a penalty or initiate a review simply based on the outcome, even if it’s clearly an injury.
After the game, held back when asked about the officiating.
“Watching Zach Aston-Reese get sewn up on the table after the game is a little hard to take,” said Keefe. “But we’re happy with the two points.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs won the game 5-4 in overtime. Referees were Wes McCauley (#4) and Brian Pochmara (#16), with linesmen Bryan Pancich (#94) and Tyson Baker (#88).
Toronto is 6-2 under Pochmara over the past two seasons, while going 4-6 under McCauley.