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Maple Leafs Coach discusses Emergence of Simon Benoit and Lineup Decisions



Maple Leafs Coach Discusses Emergence Of Simon Benoit And Lineup Decisions

Sheldon Keefe, the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, delved into the emergence of defenseman Simon Benoit and lineup decisions ahead of their upcoming game. Keefe highlighted the chemistry between Benoit and Jake McCabe, attributing it to their competitive nature and strong defensive play.

During a recent press conference, Keefe was asked about the decision to start goaltender Martin Jones over Ilya Samsonov. Keefe explained that Jones had been performing well and deserved to remain in the lineup to maintain his momentum. He also mentioned that Samsonov had been given time for additional practice sessions to stay sharp.

Keefe further discussed the return of defenseman William Lagesson to the lineup, emphasizing the need for Lagesson to focus on simplifying his game and contributing solid defensive play. Keefe praised Lagesson’s previous performances and expressed confidence in his ability to step up when needed.

Regarding the injury status of Mark Giordano and Conor Timmins, Keefe provided updates, stating that Giordano had a lower-body injury and was day-to-day, while Timmins was dealing with an illness that prevented him from traveling with the team.

Keefe elaborated on Benoit’s journey with the Maple Leafs, noting that his competitive nature and strong work ethic had propelled him into a larger role on the team. Keefe praised Benoit’s performance and growth, highlighting his contributions to the defensive unit.

When questioned about lineup changes, Keefe acknowledged experimenting with Max Domi alongside Auston Matthews to manage Knies‘ minutes and provide Domi with additional ice time. Keefe emphasized the need to stay focused on their game plan against the Ottawa Senators who posed a formidable offensive threat.

The Maple Leafs’ coach expressed readiness for the challenge presented by the Senators and anticipated a tough matchup. Keefe also touched upon the impact of the Senators coming off their bye week, emphasizing the unpredictability of the rest vs. rust debate in professional sports.

Rachel Adams

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