With countless injuries coming to the Toronto Maple Leafs roster this season, it was hard for then coach Mike Babcock, and now newly hired coach Sheldon Keefe to put together a line that are familiar playing with each other.
After the Toronto Maple Leafs handled business in Vancouver last night coming away with a 4-1 win against the Canucks, all eyes were on John Tavares and Mitch Marner as both players had themselves a night.
Tavares with 2 goals and 1 assist to his name, as well as Marner picking up 2 assists on the night. With Marner just coming back into the lineup on December 4th against Colorado from injury he has not looked like he has missed a single step.
The first topic I would like to talk about is the decisions head coach Sheldon Keefe are making before and in game.
I also want to talk about what all 3 players bring to the table on a line together.
Head coach Sheldon Keefe decided to throw together the best line the Toronto Maple Leafs had last season which was the Hyman-Tavares-Marner line.
Keefe played that line starting last Saturday when the Toronto Maple Leafs started their 4 game road trip in St. Louis.
Keefe originally played Ilya Mikheyev alongside Hyman and Tavares with Marner out of the lineup. Then when Marner came back, Keefe threw Marner with Tavares and Mikheyev which bumped Hyman to the third line.
Times have changed to start their road trip, like I said Keefe played the original Hyman-Tavares-Marner line against the Blues and Canucks and it did not disappoint. The line of all 3 of them are buzzing through 2 games, as they all combine for10 points in the those 2 games.
What All 3 Players Bring
With this stellar line back together playing with each other, the team now has a more reliable line that has history playing with each other, minus Auston Matthews and William Nylander having history playing together as well.
But what this line brings is something the Toronto Maple Leafs can succeed with. Starting with Zach Hyman, a relentless forechecker and will always get dirty in the corners, and win puck battles against the other team.
Not to mention this Zach guy can also score as he had 20 goals to his name last season, and 6 this season in just 13 games! (stats from thescore.com)
John Tavares, not that much to say about this elite goal scorer except, he’s an elite goal scorer and had a career high with 47 goals last season, and now has 12 in 25 this year. Stats on thescore.com In addition to his scoring capability lets not forget to mention his hands, Tavares has one of the nicest set of hands in the NHL.
I wouldn’t say he’s the best but he can definitely pull off some moves here and there, and he is not afraid to try it out. His chemistry with Marner dating back to last year was out of this world, it was like they’ve been playing together for years. (stats from thescore.com)
Now Mitch, what a player this kid is. Career year last year with 94 points, exceptional gameplay alongside Tavares, and Hyman, he is definitely hoping to continue that in the 2019-20 season, and by the looks of it he is.
What Marner brings to this line is something he over powers in more than Tavares and Hyman. That is Mitch’s passing ability and his smoothness with the puck. He is so calm, cool, and collected when he has the puck it is an amazing thing to watch.
The fact that Mitch knows where you are without looking, or where you are going to be before you even move has been a beautiful thing to watch over the years.
Like I mentioned earlier the chemistry that Tavares and Marner share is ridiculous as both players had career years last year and I won’t be surprised if both are close to doing it again this year.
Although injuries slowed both of them down, and even Hyman too with Tavares missing 7 games, Marner missing 11, and Hyman missing 19. With that sad these 3 players clearly have not played a whole ton together and they are still producing at a high rate as-well continue to shine when the coach puts them together.
Safe to say the Toronto Maple Leafs have a solid line contributing very well in the last. 2 games. (stats from thescore.com)
We will have to continue to watch the that line, and the Toronto Maple Leafs on their road trip as they enter Calgary next to take on the red hot Flames tomorrow night at 9:00pm Eastern Time.