Max Domi and Auston Matthews Are Toronto Maple Leafs Best Duo

Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals
Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

Are Auston Matthews and Max Domi the Toronto Maple Leafs newest and best duo?

After watching Domi and Matthews together against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night, I think that might be the case. Domi is an example of the kind of cheap player that Auston Matthews can turn into a star.

Matthews and Domi aren't going to combine for two goals and seven assists every night but they didn't skip a beat without Mitch Marner in the line-up. Obviously, Marner is a better player than Domi, but it's not that shocking to see Domi shine beside a world-class player like Matthews. A previous high draft-pick and offensive superstar in the Ontario Hockey League, Domi's skillset is one that fits well on the wing, compared to a grinding third-line centre.

Domi's always thinking pass-first, which works when Matthews can score from everywhere. The duo had some great give-and-go's and it paid off. Marner is going to jump back into his top-line role when he returns from injury, but should he? I can't yell this point more, but I've always wanted Matthews to play with "cheaper" players than Marner to balance the top-line and it feels like they have something with Matthews, Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi/Matthews Knies.

Matthews and Domi Are Fantastic Duo for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Marner's an incredible player defensively, so imagine if the Leafs took the same approach they did last year and were able to acquire someone like Ryan O'Reilly at this year's deadline? You could have Matthews/Bertuzzi/Domi, followed by Knies/Tavares/Nylander and McMann/O'Reilly/Marner and be an unstoppable force.

O'Reilly and Marner are both offensive weapons, but they're just as defensively-sound, which could have made them the greatest third line in hockey. Paired beside a big goal-scoring winger in Bobby McMann and the Leafs could have been unstoppable.

Unfortunately the Leafs didn't grab a third-line centre and will be stuck with Pontus Holmberg, David Kampf or Domi if they decide to demote him, which is too bad.

The team's defense and goaltending is going to have to ultimately improve for them to have a chance at a championship, but an upgrade at 3C would have really balanced out this lineup, giving them the flexibility to move Domi around. Domi can't carry a line and shouldn't be a shutdown centre. Instead, he should use his world-class playmaking abilities to elevate a goal-scoring centre like Matthews.


Maybe it was a flash-in-the-pan and things will go back to normal but this Domi and Matthews thing is working and I want to see more of it.