3. The Toronto Maple Leafs Best Players Perform in Playoffs
The regular season has been a cakewalk for Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner throughout their entire career.
Matthews has already won a Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal-scorer, while Marner has averaged more than a point-per-game on multiple occasions. During the regular season, these two can slow down the game and score whenever they want.
However, the playoffs have been different.
Marner hasn’t scored a playoff goal in his last 17 games and has been non-existent offensively. Matthews is averaging 0.41 goals per game in the playoffs, which is a good pace, but it’s way below his 0.61 he averages in the regular season.
In the biggest moments, you need your best players to be your best players. I know it’s cliché but it’s the truth and it’s why the Tampa Bay Lightning have been so effective for years.
If Matthews and Marner can be point-per-game players in the playoffs, the Leafs should be fine and it will give them a great chance at advancing in the playoffs.
The good news is that the peripheral numbers of both players have been solid in the playoff, which suggest that, at least partially, their bad numbers are just unlucky. Another factor, at least last year, was that Matthews wrist needed surgery and he couldn’t shoot the puck like he normally does.