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 nice. It’s special. A lot of my family here to enjoy it as well. It wasn’t the prettiest game at times, but we found a way to get the two points and finish off a good week here.”

Keefe, a native of Brampton, took over for the fired Mike Babcock on Nov. 20, while the Leafs were in the midst of a road trip.

Keefe coached in the building during his time with the Toronto Marlies, but he noticed the difference in the arena’s atmosphere on a Saturday night with the big club.

“Fans are into it. There’s a lot of them. It’s a big crowd. It’s nice to be at home. As I said, I’ve been in this environment before but never quite like this. Never quite as full and never quite as much emotion and energy and all those types of things. It was nice and we’re hoping it gets better from here,” Keefe said.

VIA: The Score