Toronto Maple Leafs: Mitch Marner Continues to Struggle

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

Did the 2020-21 playoffs break Toronto Maple Leafs superstar, Mitch Marner?

Since the start of the 2021-22 playoffs, Mitch Marner has gone 14 games without a goal.  This is terrible production from the Toronto Maple Leafs second best player. This isn’t Pierre Engvall or Wayne Simmonds that we’re talking about. This is the local kid making $10.93M per year.

If Marner was racking up assists and creating scoring opportunities for the rest of the team, then this wouldn’t be as big of an issue. However, he only has one assist in the team’s first seven games.

One assist is not good enough.

After that awful start, Sheldon Keefe decided to switch up Marner and Auston Matthews, which helped spark Matthews for a goal, but it didn’t do anything for Marner.

The lines would be better suited if Marner continued to play with John Tavares, while Matthews played with Nylander and Michael Bunting, but Marner needs to figure it out.

Mitch Marner Needs A Big Night Soon

If you watched the Amazon Prime documentary “All or Nothing,” Marner was a target. Kyle Dubas sat him down during the playoffs and told him they needed him to be himself and shine in the biggest moment, but that never happened.

The continued disappointment in the playoffs and the added pressure of being a local kid making a ton of money has seemed to get to Marner’s head. He’s a shell of himself at the moment.

In order for critics to get off Marner’s back, he needs a big night. He’s needs a three-assist game or a two-goal performance to get back into it.

There’s no secret that if Marner doesn’t perform  to his fullest ability, this team will fail. If Marner can’t be a point-per-game player this season, the Leafs will miss the playoffs. He’s way too big of a piece to their offense and he needs to drive offense.

Marner is such a huge piece and when he’s playing at his best, he’s making others around him that much better.  The Leafs need him to produce.

The Toronto Maple Leafs could trade Marner and lose one of the best offensive forwards in the NHL for pennies on the dollar. Or, they could continue to reinforce to him that he’s an amazingly gifted player, who’s just in a dry-spell. Things will get better for him but he can’t lose his confidence yet because this team relies on him far too much.

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When your salary makes up 13.4% of the salary cap, you need to perform. The fanbase isn’t going to let up anytime soon because he’s a local kid and a fun player to watch, so Marner needs to figure it out before the entire fanbase turns on him and drives him to the trading block.