NHL Insider Reveals the Exact Reason Sheldon Keefe Scratched TJ Brodie

Marvin Azrak
March 21, 2024  (6:27 PM)

Sheldon Keefe Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Photo credit: Tsn

The Toronto Maple Leafs were on a mission to redeem themselves after that tough loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. Facing off against the Washington Capitals, they brought their A-game, leaving no doubt about their determination to bounce back from the disappointment. With a final score of 7-3, they not only secured the win but also dealt a significant blow to the playoff-hopeful Capitals' confidence at Capital One Arena.

Insights into Sheldon Keefe's Decision: Mike Johnston on Why T.J. Brodie was Benched

It was a nice night with Austin Matthews having two goals and 5 points, yet there was a noticeable absence on the ice. T.J. Brodie. The stalwart on the Leafs' blue line, found himself benched while Conor Timmins got the nod from coach Sheldon Keefe. Now, this move raised more than a few eyebrows because Brodie has been a rock for the team, rarely missing a game and usually logging significant minutes. However, this season, his performance has been a bit off, leaving fans wondering why he hadn't been given a breather earlier.
When Keefe addressed the decision, he didn't sugarcoat it. He acknowledged Brodie's recent struggles while also giving props to his past contributions to the team. Then, NHL analyst Mike Johnson chimed in with some insightful commentary . According to him, this season has been a bit of a grind for the Leafs, with things not clicking as smoothly as they have in the past.
He's been in grind-it-out mode for quite some time this year, Johnson noted.

Keefe's been feeling the heat to find the winning formula, especially with the playoffs looming large.
Now, Brodie's usually been a sure bet in the lineup, but this year's been different. His game hasn't been as sharp, leaving Keefe to wrestle with uncertainty about who to trust on defense, especially as the postseason draws nearer. It's a tough call, but Keefe is determined to assemble the right mix of players that'll give the Leafs the competitive edge they need to make a deep playoff run.