NHL News

Marner, Murray, Matthews & Acciari

Mitch Marner Mark Giordano Toronto Maple Leafs

On Saturday night, it was back to hockey as it was played in the 1980s. There were lots of goals and huge swings in momentum. The final score favored the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Edmonton Oilers by a score of 7-4. 

It turned out to be an exciting and entertaining night watching the game between two great teams; however, it was much more fun if you were rooting for the Blue and White. A lot of fans tuned into the game to get a chance to watch two of the best players in the NHL face off against each other – Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid. 

And they got to see just that. However, the two best players on the night were not Matthews and McDavid. They were Mitch Marner and McDavid. Not that Matthews disappointed, but Marner was the Maple Leafs’ star of the game – and by a country mile.

Related: 2014 NHL Draft Top 10: Where Are They Now?

In this edition of Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I’ll take a look at some of the player news emerging from the game. I’ll also share some other news emerging from the organization.

Item One: Mitch Marner Was Nothing Short of Amazing

Marner had an absolutely outstanding performance against the Oilers. He scored a goal and added three assists and was, as I noted, the key to the Maple Leafs’ win.

His goal was one of the prettiest and most skillful I’ve seen in a long time. Everything about it – from the anticipation of where Ryan McLeod would pass the puck, to his spin-o-rama move to face Stuart Skinner, to his beautiful backhand-to-forehand deke, to his perfectly placed shot. It was so quick and so skillful. 

Mitch Marner and Mark Giordano, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

But Marner wasn’t close to being finished. He also assisted on goals from William Nylander, John Tavares, and Matthews. His impressive performance marks back-to-back multi-point games and brings his total to nine points in his last five games. He now has totaled 24 goals and 83 points in 65 games. He has been a consistent offensive force for the Maple Leafs throughout the season; and, if anything, he’s getting better as the season goes on.

Item Two: Matt Murray Struggled Early, But Finds His Game

Matt Murray struggled early in the game, allowing three goals on the first nine shots he faced. The first two were shots that a good NHL goalie should have stopped (an unscreened slapshot by Mattias Ekholm from the top of the right faceoff circle and a wrap-around by Evander Kane that bounced off of Murray’s shinpad and into the…

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