Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe is having a rough year with the refs – one in particular: fan favorite Wes McCauley.

McCauley and Keefe came together on Sunday night, with #4 in stripes as the Leafs took on the Washington Capitals.

Late in the second period, Toronto’s Rasmus Sandin was whistled for high-sticking the Caps’ Connor Sheary. There’s no question Sheary was clipped by a stick.  The only problem?  It wasn’t Sandin.

The weapon in question was in the hands of Sheary’s teammate, center Nicklas Backstrom, who reached for the puck with one hand on his stick, catching his winger up high.

Keefe protested the call.

“That’s not our ****ing stick!” the Leafs bench boss blasted. “That’s their stick!”

Unfortunately for Keefe, the call was made. As usual, no matter how convincing the argument, the officials aren’t likely to overturn their call.  They couldn’t even take a second look.

High-sticking double-minors are eligible for video review under Rule 60.3.  That rule only applies to double-minor penalties, where there’s an injury on the play.

Had Backstrom injured Sheary, the refs could’ve reviewed and overturned the call on the ice due to friendly fire.  With no injury, though, it’s just a minor penalty, and those can’t be reviewed.

This isn’t the first time Keefe has voiced his displeasure with the officials… about a high stick… when Wes McCauley was working.

Keefe was fined $25,000 for “conduct demeaning to officials” last month after blowing up on the stripes for what he perceived were a pair of missed calls, including a high stick that injured forward Zach Aston-reese.


No word on when McCauley will work his next Leafs game, but it’s safe to say Keefe will be keeping an eye out.