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Sports Marner knows Leafs script line by line

14:06  13 march  2018
14:06  13 march  2018 Source:   thestar.com

Would Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello take lesser role with team?

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Mitch Marner leads the Leafs in scoring and has quietly made strides on the defensive side. (Rick Madonik / Toronto Star). Lately, he’s thrived no matter what line he’s been on. “I try to adjust to them, I’d say,” said Marner . “Try to make the plays off knowing who I’m with.

Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews says recovering from his Feb. 22 shoulder injury is a gradual process. Matthews took part in his second straight full practice Tuesday, but continued to wear a red non-contact jersey. Marner knows Leafs script line by line .


At this point of the season, Mitch Marner of the Maple Leafs has played on every line. Not just one-offs. He’s had long stretches as a first-liner, second-liner, third-liner and, infamously, as a fourth-liner.

And with the continued absence of Auston Matthews, Marner worked out Monday with the injured centre’s regular linemates. Marner was at right wing with Zach Hyman on the left and William Nylander at centre, the same spot he played Saturday against the Penguins — when he picked up a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win at the Air Canada Centre.

“Mitch is an elite passer, elite vision, makes plays,” said Hyman. “It’s fun playing with both guys. Auston does his thing — one of the best goal scorers in the league, great both ways, a great scorer. Mitch creates so many chances.”

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Marner knows Leafs script line by line . “It sure didn’t seem like much,” Babcock said. “He played after he got hurt, so I don’t know exactly.” The worry is Andersen might have suffered a concussion, or maybe an awkwardly pulled muscle.

Marner knows Leafs script line by line . After that slow start no one’s talking about any more, Leafs scoring leader Mitch Marner has found a way to produce and play better D no matter which linemates he hits the ice with.

In Buffalo a week ago, Marner played with Nazem Kadri and Patrick Marleau. Lately, he’s thrived no matter what line he’s been on.

“I try to adjust to them, I’d say,” said Marner. “Try to make the plays off knowing who I’m with. I adjust to who my linemates are.

“The thing about our team is that all our lines are very similar. We have a guy that can always get the puck back, that’s always around the net. There’s a guy that makes plays (and) a guy that works down low and does all the work.”

Marner still gets out with Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk — the two he launched his career with last year and stuck with for most of this season — on the power play.

“He’s one of those wingers that’s able to drive a line,” coach Mike Babcock said of Marner. “We try to put him in a spot to generate offence. Home and away (with last line changes) is a little bit different. We adjust accordingly.”

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Marner on the 1st Line . It’s great the Leafs can essentially skate three first- line quality lines , but at the same time, they’ve got to find out how good Marner actually is, and to do that, they need to give him way more minutes, with way better players.

Marner knows Leafs script line by line . He's had long stretches as a first- liner , second- liner , third- liner and, infamously, as a fourth- liner . And with the continued absence of Auston Matthews, Marner worked out Monday with the injured centre's regular linemates.

Mitch Marner leads the Leafs in scoring and has quietly made strides on the defensive side.© Rick Madonik Mitch Marner leads the Leafs in scoring and has quietly made strides on the defensive side.

The 20-year-old Marner leads the Leafs in scoring with 19 goals and 37 assists for 56 points. He has goals in back-to-back games and five of his last seven. He’s risen to the occasion with Matthews continuing to nurse a sore shoulder — although he practised in full Monday and could be back by the end of the week.

“We’re like a brotherhood.” said Marner. “We try to protect each other. When one of us goes down, we try to step up.”

Marner’s next goal will establish a career high. He’s developed a bit more of a shoot-first mentality, despite elite pass-making skills.

“Just hanging on the puck a bit more, and the puck is going in right now,” said Marner. “When that starts happening, you gain more confidence.”

Of course, some of it can be credited to puck luck — shots going off legs and in — something his teammates are quick to remind him about.

Big tipper van Riemsdyk might be out of Leafs’ reach

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You know it’s the Toronto Maple Leafs you’re talking about when even a 7-2 start to the season doesn’t completely quell the craziness. Before going to the 4th line , Mitch Marner was scoring at a 70 point pace, while controlling nearly 60% of the play.

I just know I’m on a different line ,” Brown said. Jets' Ehlers, Maple Leafs ' Matthews top NHL three stars. Sportsnet Staff. Maple Leafs ' Mitch Marner skates on 4th line during practice.

“I’ve noticed a lot of pucks going off people and in,” said defenceman Morgan Rielly. “I don’t know whether that’s on purpose, but he’s playing great. Mitch has been outstanding. You can tell he’s playing with a lot of speed, great on the power play. He’s just trying to do his thing.”

Marner probably doesn’t get enough credit for the defensive side of his game, a strength lately. Early in the season, when he struggled and played on the fourth line, it was his backchecking that was in question. But he’s seventh in the league in takeaways with 66 and knows that getting the puck back on defence is what leads to offence.

“You work back to get the puck and you get good chances off that,” said Marner. “Teams are changing, or you catch teams flat-footed, you get a good number of chances off that.”

Babcock said the difference in Marner’s game since the start of the season is work ethic: “He started slow, but he’s got confidence right now and confidence is everything in the game. He feels good about himself. He got back to work. If you work all the time, you don’t have to worry about much.”

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