Toronto Maple Leafs: Can Mitch Marner Bounce Back from Dismal Playoffs?

Toronto Maple Leafs - Mitchell Marner (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs - Mitchell Marner (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Mitch Marner. First line winger for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Toronto Maple Leafs superstar has one of the highest paying contracts in the NHL and has gone 18 straight playoff games without a goal.  But don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a song and dance about the contract. It is actually pretty reasonable,  and at this point we just have to live with it anyways. He’s not getting traded,  that’s a very good thing.

Mitch Marner is the wingman to the best goal scorer in the league and in Maple Leafs history. He also just ranked fourth in the NHL in total points, second in 5v5 points, all while playing elite defense.

We should cut him some slack. He wasn’t the only one who didn’t produce against Montreal.

Toronto Maple Leafs and Mitch Marner

Marner just well with Auston Matthews. They are one of the NHL’s most consistently awe inspiring duos. Going into May of last season, Marner had an assist on 63 percent of Matthews‘ goals. And a lot of them looked something like this:

Not bad.

He’s always been a playmaker, but he’s developed into a guy that was in Selke conversations. A selke level forward scoring around 100 points is always going to be one of the best players in the world.

The question with Marner isn’t if he’s any good, we already know that. The question is can he bounce back from his playoff failures and be the kind of superstar who can be depended on in tough situations?  I think he will. Now that we’re going to get a full season (thank god) of NHL hockey, that means we’re also getting Mitch Marner with a healthy Auston Matthews for 82 games. Let me say this again:

The Leafs will be pairing an Art Ross candidate with a Rocket Richard winner. Sounds like a recipe for success to me. And it’s not that Marner’s success on the ice is dependent on Matthews. He averages 1.3 points per game without him. However, having the best goal scorer in the league  definitely helps.

As for what I would consider a bounceback: A good performance in the playoffs this season. I know that Marner is going to have a good season this year. But he has to perform in the playoffs.  Even with solid underlying numbers, there is no excuse.  He must produce actual results. 

Marner needs to be on the front lines of the Leafs winning a playoff series.

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Some of you might disagree with me ignoring the regular season, but he hasn’t had a bad regular season in his career. It’s time for some playoff glory.