Tortorella began her press conference on Monday to help Keefe.
“I just can’t forget the people who tear Sheldon Keefe and his staff apart, when it comes to the work he has done with the Maple Leafs team,” he explained. “They did a great job with this team. It was after the show and all that… some of the things I read, some of the things I watched last night… half of the pundits in this town think they know the game, but they really don’t. .
“It pisses me off for another coach in this league, and I know it’s Toronto, a big city, a big hockey town, I love being here. But, some of the things he’s being criticized for are beyond belief, and it just shows people have no idea what’s going on in this game. I just want to support him. I’m happy we won, but I want to support him and his team did a great job with this hockey club. “
Keefe, 39, coached the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League from 2015 to 2019 before taking over from Leafs licensee Mike Babcock in November of this season. He posted a 27-15-5 in 47 games in his first NHL coaching season.
Columbus will now face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs, a rematch of last year’s series when they shocked the No.1-ranked Lightning with a four-game sweep.