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Sport Keefe: Toronto has enough talent for quick progress

00:41  22 november  2019
00:41  22 november  2019 Source:   ap.org

Keefe relishes 'special' 1st home win with Maple Leafs

  Keefe relishes 'special' 1st home win with Maple Leafs Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe was behind the bench at Scotiabank Arena as an NHL bench boss for the first time on Saturday, and he soaked it all in as his club skated to a 2-1 overtime victory over the Buffalo Sabres. "It was fun being here," Keefe said postgame. "Different circumstances than when I've been here in the past. Fitting that the Marlies were in the building this afternoon, that's more what I'm familiar with. It's"It was fun being here," Keefe said postgame. "Different circumstances than when I've been here in the past. Fitting that the Marlies were in the building this afternoon, that's more what I'm familiar with. It's nice. It's special. A lot of my family here to enjoy it as well.

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) New Toronto Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe spent a decent chunk of a 30-minute morning skate on Thursday teaching instead of running drills.

Mike Babcock wearing a suit and tie: FILE - In this April 25, 2019, file photo, Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock speaks to reporters in Toronto. The Maple Leafs fired Babcock on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, and replaced him with Sheldon Keefe. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP, File)© APWF FILE - In this April 25, 2019, file photo, Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock speaks to reporters in Toronto. The Maple Leafs fired Babcock on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, and replaced him with Sheldon Keefe. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

There's a lot for his new team to learn and not much time to do it.

The 39-year-old Keefe is now in charge of the Maple Leafs after veteran coach Mike Babcock was fired Wednesday with the team mired in a six-game losing streak.

Who is Sheldon Keefe? Toronto Maple Leafs name Mike Babcock's replacement

  Who is Sheldon Keefe? Toronto Maple Leafs name Mike Babcock's replacement Sheldon Keefe was promoted to Leafs head coach from AHL Toronto Marlies.In turn, the organization promoted Sheldon Keefe from the AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies as the 31st head coach of the Maple Leafs.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs fired head coach Mike Babcock on Wednesday, replacing him with Dubas and Keefe are scheduled to meet with the media on Thursday morning. “Seeing as I had been the Morgan Rielly has been here the whole time. I can’t thank him enough . And all the players I got an

Keefe was officially introduced Thursday morning as the 31st head coach in Maple Leafs history. He's got a long history with general manager Kyle Dubas, who hopes Keefe is the right choice to help Toronto bounce back from a disappointing 9-10-4 start.

a group of people standing next to a man in a suit and tie: In this June 14, 2018, photo, Toronto Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe, second from left, celebrates with his coaching and training staff after defeating the Texas Stars to win the AHL Calder Cup championship in Toronto. Keefe was officially introduced Thursday morning, Nov. 21, 2019,  as the 31st head coach of the NHL hockey Toronto Maple Leafs. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)© APWF In this June 14, 2018, photo, Toronto Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe, second from left, celebrates with his coaching and training staff after defeating the Texas Stars to win the AHL Calder Cup championship in Toronto. Keefe was officially introduced Thursday morning, Nov. 21, 2019, as the 31st head coach of the NHL hockey Toronto Maple Leafs. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

Keefe believes it can be done.

''We've got a lot of talent and the ability to make life hard on the other team in a lot of ways,'' he said. ''Focusing on that, we believe, will produce positive results. Because the players are good enough for that to happen.''

Underperforming Maple Leafs fire coach Mike Babcock

  Underperforming Maple Leafs fire coach Mike Babcock TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Mike Babcock. Team President Brendan Shanahan announced the move Wednesday and said Sheldon Keefe would take over as coach. In parts of five seasons under Babcock, the Maple Leafs posted a record of 173-133-45 in 351 regular-season games and an 8-12 record in three postseason appearances.Babcock had a record of 9-10-4 this season for the struggling Leafs, who are 0-5-1 in their last six games, including five straight losses in regulation.

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Keefe inherits a roster that includes talented forwards like Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner and William Nylander.

Tavares said there were ''many mixed emotions'' because Babcock was so dedicated and committed to the team. He said the team feels a burden because it hasn't played up to expectations but is ''turning the page'' and moving forward.

''Sheldon's got a great mind for the game,'' Tavares said. ''We're excited about the energy and the things he's bringing and trying to improve from where we're at.''

a person standing in front of a group of people posing for the camera: Sheldon Keefe, right, poses with his family after being officially introduced as the Toronto Maple Leafs new head coach Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. Keefe takes over for Mike Babcock, who was fired on Wednesday. (AP Photo/David Brandt)© APWF Sheldon Keefe, right, poses with his family after being officially introduced as the Toronto Maple Leafs new head coach Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. Keefe takes over for Mike Babcock, who was fired on Wednesday. (AP Photo/David Brandt)

Keefe will make his coaching debut during Toronto's game against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.

Three takeaways from Toronto Maple Leafs' 3-1 win over Arizona Coyotes

  Three takeaways from Toronto Maple Leafs' 3-1 win over Arizona Coyotes The Sheldon Keefe era began with an emphatic victory in the desert on Thursday night.Sheldon Keefe's debut game as head coach of the Maple Leafs couldn't have gone any better as Toronto cruised to a much-needed 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz., Thursday night.

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Dubas said the franchise must show patience as Keefe, a first-time NHL coach, embarks on the difficult task of taking over a team midseason and trying to quickly turn things around.

He's confident the players understand there will be ups and down.

He's also aware that outside perception might be a little less forgiving.

''It's all part of what makes working and playing in Toronto great,'' Dubas said. ''You can't go anywhere in Toronto without people caring deeply about the team. I read the greatest quote this morning on the way here: `You can look at it as a burden or look at it as a trampoline.'''

Toronto is a team that needs quite a bounce.

The 56-year-old Babcock went 173-133-45 in his four-plus seasons with Toronto and made the playoffs the past three years, though the Maple Leafs lost in the first round each time. When the team started slowly this season, Dubas and team President Brendan Shanahan knew it was time for a change.

Shanahan flew to Arizona on Wednesday to break the news to Babcock, whom he hired in 2015.

He acknowledged it was a hard day. Some more hard days may follow as Keefe tries to quickly implement his system, though the franchise is confident it's headed in the right direction.

Keefe was in his fifth season as head coach of the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies. He was 199-89-31 with the Marlies and helped the franchise win its first Calder Cup championship in 2018.

Several of the Leafs' current players were coached by Keefe when he was with the Marlies, which is the franchise's top minor-league affiliate.

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Tavares scores in OT, leads Maple Leafs past Sabres 2-1 .
TORONTO (AP) Frederik Andersen was put to the test, and the goaltender did enough to get the Toronto Maple Leafs the victory. John Tavares scored at 1:45 of overtime and picked up his 400th NHL assist, and Anderson made 29 saves as the Maple Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Saturday night.BOX SCORE: MAPLE LEAFS 2, SABRES 1 (OT)''He gave us a chance to win, especially in the third period, where we had to defend'' Tavares said. ''He made some big saves, even at the end of the second (period), too. That's why he's one of the best goalies in the league.

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