When Max Domi burst on the scene with the Arizona Coyotes during the 2015-16 season, he surprised a lot of hockey people with his scoring. In 81 games as a rookie, he put up 18 goals and added 34 assists (for 52 points). He even had a plus-3 rating. In short, he was surprisingly good.
Domi’s Been Up and Down Since He Broke into the NHL
However, Domi has been challenged to maintain that offensive and defensive consistency over the past few years. He’s had two solid offensive seasons. In the 2018-19 season, he scored 28 goals and added 44 assists (for 72 points) in 82 games. He also put up his best rating ever with a plus-20 plus/minus.
Then, last season split between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars, he put up 20 goals in 80 combined games (and 56 points with both teams). His season with the lowly Blackhawks was pretty solid (18 goals and 31 assists for 49 points in 60 games), perhaps because he was counted on to carry the play more. When he moved to the Stars at the trade deadline, he only put up seven points (two goals and five assists) in 20 games.
Can Playing with the Maple Leafs Stars (e.g. Mitch Marner) Kick Start Domi’s Game?
If Domi ever had a chance to shine, it’s this season. His reunion with Mitch Marner (they played together with the London Knights) and the addition of Auston Matthews in Toronto present a strong chance that he might be able to regain and surpass his best season ever.
Maple Leafs’ GM Brad Treliving is taking a calculated risk by bringing Domi onto the roster. He’s obviously hoping that playing alongside stars like Marner and Matthews will spark a resurgence in Domi’s game.
But, at the same time, it works both ways. If Domi can provide secondary scoring, he can help take the pressure off Matthews and Marner (or whomever Domi partners with).
However, the chemistry and familiarity between Domi and Marner could really impact the team in a positive way. If it does, it should reinvigorate his playmaking abilities and offensive impact.
Domi Does Have Offensive Potential
Even if Domi has struggled defensively, history shows that he has the capability to compensate for any of his shortcomings by pushing the offensive aspect of his game. If he could recapture this form, it could provide the Maple Leafs with a significant boost – as noted, especially where were found wanting in past seasons with their secondary scoring.
Domi might just be part of – remember that Tyler Bertuzzi has come on board as well – additional depth and versatility in the Maple Leafs’ offensive lineup.
What Is Domi’s Key to Success?
The key to Domi’s success with the Maple Leafs rests on his ability to overcome any defensive deficiencies by capitalizing on his offensive abilities. Reuniting with Marner and Matthews provides an ideal setting for him to excel. However, it really all depends on his on-ice performance.
The Bottom Line
If the coaching staff decides to reunite Domi with Marner in Toronto, there’s a chance that Domi can rejuvenate his career and unlock his full potential. This might be the chance he’s been waiting for.
Getting scoring support from top-tier players like Matthews and Marner could put Domi over the top in Toronto. The stage might be set for Domi to seize his second chance. If so, he could make a significant impact in the blue and white jersey.
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