Understated Marner Magic Igniting The Toronto Maple Leafs

The improved play of the Leafs first-line right winger has been a big part of their recent success.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Arizona Coyotes. A pass from Mitch Marner sets up a goal by teammate William Nylander.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Arizona Coyotes. A pass from Mitch Marner sets up a goal by teammate William Nylander. / Zac BonDurant/GettyImages
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The Auston Matthews goal-scoring watch has captivated Leafs fans. It has been one of the biggest stories of the current NHL season.

The Leafs star center is doing things that have not been seen in years. He recently scored his milestone 50th and 51st goals in only his 54th game of the season in his home state of Arizona.

Somewhat lost in the shuffle is the resurgent play from his linemate Mitch Marner. The Leafs first-line right winger has caught fire, collecting 13 points over his last five games.

It is not a coincidence that the Leafs won all five of those games. Marner finding his top level at the same time as Matthews has shown to be a lethal combination.

Understated Marner Magic Igniting The Toronto Maple Leafs

The aforementioned 13 points from Marner were all assists. The five consecutive games with multiple assists tied a long-time record from Leafs legend Borje Salming.

Marner is "Robin" to Matthews' "Batman". Credit must go to Matthews for finding additional ways to score goals. He has added a devastating one-timer to his repertoire.

It is usually Marner who is putting the puck in the proper position for Matthews to use his deadly shot. Lately, even by his high standards, Marner has made some exemplary passes leading to goals for his teammates.

On Matthews' 51st of the season against the Arizona Coyotes, Marner made a stick between-the-legs pass to T.J. Brodie before Brodie's shot banked in off of Matthews.

In the same game, Marner made a deke in a tight space in front of the net before dishing it off to William Nylander for his 30th goal of the year. The deft move left Nylander with an open net.

A week earlier, Marner made a pretty stretch pass to Matthews to boost the slow-starting Leafs to a victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. He also had the primary assist on a Matthews' power-play one-timer.

Marner's Play Has Improved the Leafs Power Play

The Leafs power play has been on a hot streak that has upped the team's ranking to second in the NHL. They have scored eight power-play goals over the last four games.

Marner has been a huge part of its success, either by setting up his teammates or bringing the puck up the ice. His patience and vision with the puck is unmatched by few, if any, other players around the league.

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Finally, approaching the sixty-game mark of the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs have their two best players playing at the top of their game. Not surprisingly, team success has followed.