Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner Put Up Big Games
Plenty has been said about the lack of meaningful playoff production from Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner in year’s gone by.
The pair were out to dispel those narratives in this game, each putting up three-point nights. They certainly were out to prove that they are indeed big game players.
Far from ducking and hiding as the narrative is often painted; both were willing to take hits if it meant they could finish their play.
Given how much time was spent on the penalty kill, Matthews certainly lucked into some easier matchups at times.
Still, netting two goals and an assist certainly might suggest that regular season Matthews is here to play in the playoffs.
Likewise, Mitch Marner was a beast on special teams; not only did he set up Matthews’s powerplay marker, but he also fed David Kampf on his shorthanded goal. Capping off his night by breaking a playoff goal drought really was the icing on the cake for Marner.
The key thing here is that both big name players on the Toronto Maple Leafs top line have shown that they’re here to play meaningful playoff hockey.
They showed a definite determination, along with the rest of the team, to do everything possible to clear this first round hurdle once and for all.
Going forward, the team need to continue at this same intensity and deliver more of the same. If they can do that, we might finally see this first round hurdle cleared.