3 Toronto Maple Leafs Hot Takes Ahead of the Playoffs

Toronto Maple Leafs v Carolina Hurricanes
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Hot Take No. 1: Max Domi Should Replace Mitch Marner on First Line

Max Domi has six assists in his last four games, thanks in large part to playing alongside Auston Matthews.

With Marner absent due to injury, Domi has stepped up and has been that playmaker for Matthews, setting him up for mutiple goals.

Domi's obviously not as skilled as Marner, but his playmaking should be recognized. He's able to fetch pucks behind the net and get them off to his linemates in quick fashion, which has resulted in multiple scoring attempts. He contributed one assist against the New Jersey Devils this week, but probably should have had three or four, if Jake Allen hadn't stood on his head.

Also, Domi is a one-dimensional player who's elite offensive passing ability is submarined by his terrible defensive game. One of Sheldon Keefe's biggest challanges this season has been to use Domi effectively.

For a large part of the year, Domi was teamed with Robertson and they won their minutes but the coach had to shelter them so much that it hurt other parts of the lineup. One way to get the most out of Domi is to pair him with Matthews, who is elite defensively and who drives play to such a degree that even Domi isn't much of a drag on his performance.

In a limited time together, Domi and Matthews have a 60% Expected Goals Rating, which is excellent. This should allow the Leafs to separate Matthews and Marner and put one super-star forward on each line.

I've said this a million times, but I'd love to see the Leafs core-four on three separate lines, and with Domi's emergence, Marner can slide to the third line. I know that sounds like a demotion, but it benefits the team tremendously, plus the opposition wouldn't know what to do. They would have a nightmare line-matching with those four players on three seperate lines and Marner could do some damage beside Pontus Holmberg and Matthew Knies. (stats naturalstattrick.com).