Sheldon Keefe showing creativity in crunch season

As the Maple Leafs run it back with their core four for one more season, head coach Sheldon Keefe is showing fresh creativity, including playing Mitch Marner on defence, as he seeks to finally make his team playoff proof.

Video Transcript

- Mitch Marner on defense kind of makes a lot of sense. Huh, that rhymed. But that's something that Sheldon Keefe brought up, the idea of, in situations where the Leafs are down a goal and need some more scoring, to put Marner on defense, I guess, assuming on the right-hand side. So you have another offensive threat, I guess, on top of, what, maybe Bunting, Matthews, and Nylander?

Now, no one's asked-- no one's saying we're not expecting Marner to be playing like 23 minutes a night killing penalties and blocking shots on the blue line. No, but having Marner there as an option would be a pretty solid setup, those four weapons on top of Riley just [INAUDIBLE] generating chance after chance after chance in those instances where you really do need a goal. Plus, Marner is pretty defensively reliable.

I mean, there were moments where a lot of media were talking about how he probably should get some Selke consideration. He plays. He kills penalties. He can skate backwards pretty well. He's also had a lot of, like, solid goalie-like saves when it comes to blocking shots and blocking scoring chances. So when it comes to the offense aspect of it, I like the idea. I like the creativity. And I think that's what we've come to expect from Sheldon Keefe.