Prediction: Mitch Marner Will Put the Leafs on His Back and Lead Them to Glory

Apr 27, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitch Marner (16) scores a goal
Apr 27, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitch Marner (16) scores a goal / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are a time of miracles. Like Christmas for hockey fans, the Playoffs are a magical time when anything can happen.

Who would have predicted that the Tampa Bay Lightning would go to three-straight Cup Finals after blowing a first-round matchup against the Columbus Blue-Jackets?

Who would have predicted Jordan Binnington coming from obscurity to leading his team to a Stanley Cup? The 2021 Montreal Canadiens made it to the Finals without anyone expecting them to even make the playoffs.

Or what about these very same Leafs going 0-11 in elimination games?

Last year's Florida Panthers were down 3-1 in the first round to these very same Boston Bruins. Things weren't going well for their starting goalie, Alex Lyons, and so they switched him out for Sergei Bobrovsky and the rest is history.

The point is that in the NHL Playoffs, weird things happen. Weirder things than the Leafs suddenly remembering how to score and coming back in a series against known chokers.

The Weirdest Thing Possible

The Leafs can't score, they have a history of being garbage in the playoffs, and Mitch Marner is on the verge of needing a security escort to leave town.

So what could be more glorious than Mitch Marner leading the Leafs to a comeback against Boston, an upset over Florida, the destruction of Carolina and the usurping of Connor McDavid's first ever Conn Smythe trophy as the Playoff MVP and Stanley Cup winner?

If you could put a dollar on this outcome, you'd probably be a millionaire if it happens.

But this is the time of year to believe in fairy tales. The Leafs are down, but they aren't out. They could have won every game of this series with just a little better goaltending and some power-play luck.

I refuse to believe that this is how the Matthews/Marner Era Ends. Not with a bang, but with the saddest whimper ever.

That is why I'm predicting that an extremely motivated Mitch Marner puts this team on his back and goes absolutely nuts. He will score two points per game and lead the team past Boston and into the next round and beyond.

He will give Matthews and Nylander the time they need to get back up to game speed.

The Leafs are dominating at 5v5, but they are getting just under 7% shooting. That is bad luck and it won't last.

Their special teams couldn't be this bad if they were trying to be bad on purpose. While it's not like the players are totally absolved from blame, a lot of what's happening is just horrible luck.

Like take for example the first Bruins goal the other night - it turned out there was a Bruins player holding TJ Brodie's stick preventing him from getting into the play. On their goal at the end of the second, Matthews pulled up and looked like he couldn't move (then he exited the game).

This is just awful luck. It doesn't excuse the lack of scoring, but it does partially explain the results.

It's worth noting that the Leafs are winning Mitch Marner's 5v5 minutes 2-1 while he's posting incredible stats across the board, including a 59% xGoals rating. Unfortunately, the Leafs are shooting under 5% when Marner is on the ice.

He isn't to blame and he isn't going to let himself be blamed.

The Leafs are due not just in this series, but in life. They have built a great team (*at least a great core) and that core isn't going to just lay down and die. MItch Marner is due too, and he's going to put the team on his back and do the most improbable thing you can imagine - leading the Leafs back from the brink of elimination.


The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to crush the Bruins in game five, and they are going to win this series. They are also going to win the Stanley Cup and their MVP is going to be Mitch Marner.