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Maple Leafs’ Quick Hits: Marner, Murray & Mete

The Toronto Maple Leafs will play the Los Angeles Kings tonight. Can they find revenge? Will they extend their point-scoring streak?

On October 29, the Toronto Maple Leafs played the Los Angeles Kings in California and lost 4-2. That evened their record at 4-4-1. Since that game, the Maple Leafs have only lost another game in regulation.

What a difference six weeks can make. The Maple Leafs now have a record of 16-5-6 and are on a streak where they’ve picked up points in 12 straight games. They are looking to move the dial one higher to 13 games (and seek some retribution at the same time).

Mitch Marner is also attempting to extend his own personal streak to 21 games tonight against visiting Los Angeles.

Quick Hit One: Marner Got His Point, But His Defense Was Almost Better

Mitch Marner was given an assist on the team’s first goal of the game on Tuesday to extend his franchise-record point-scoring streak to 20 games. The drama was over early for those following the young right-winger’s quest to extend the record.

Yet the exciting part of the game had barely begun. The Dallas Stars eventually lost 4-0 when goalie Matt Murray threw a shutout at them, but that doesn’t mean the Stars just sat down and quit. Quite the contrary.

MItch Marner Maple Leafs 4
MItch Marner Maple Leafs 4

Murray was called upon time after time to make stellar saves. Marner seemed to be there beside Murray every save of the way.

After the game, Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe said about Marner:

“There’s a lot that goes into something like that. He gets on the board early and contributes to that first goal to help us get a lead in the game. He’s then called on to play some very difficult minutes with the number of penalties (seven, including a double minor) we took. He’s outstanding in that way, too.”

Marner has been playing defensively and offensively like a star. He’s leading by example.

Quick Hit Two: Is Matt Murray Vezina Worthy?

The scoreboard doesn’t lie. The difference between winning and losing against the Stars was simple – Matt Murray willed it. It was one of the most dominating goalie performances the Maple Leafs have had in the four years I’ve covered the team. By the time the stars of the game were announced, Murray had made 44 saves to earn his first shutout of the season and the 15th of his NHL career.

Coach Keefe noted how solid Murray was for the team. “That five-on-three was incredible. He was outstanding. I’m happy for him.”

Matt Murray Maple Leafs
Matt Murray Maple Leafs injured

Teammate Auston Matthews added: “I don’t know if there are words for that. (It) was special. At the end of the second, that penalty kill, a lot of credit goes to Murray. He stood on his head. He made some unbelievable saves, just special.”


Quick Hit Three: Victor Mete Will Sit for a Bit

When the Maple Leafs picked up defenseman Victor Mete during the offseason, many fans wondered why. However, over the past several games, Mete’s proven that he can play reliable defence. He certainly has no trouble keeping up, being one of the fastest skaters on the team.

But he’s also been playing well as a bottom-pairing defenseman. It’s too bad that he’ll be out for a while with a lower-body injury that he suffered during the first period of Tuesday’s game against the Stars. After Mete went to the locker room, the medical report given later on Tuesday was that – although coach Keefe didn’t think that Mete’s injury was too serious – he’d likely miss at least a couple of the team’s next few games.

Keefe noted, “He’s going to miss some time. We don’t think it’s going to be anything too serious, but I don’t expect him to be available for us the rest of this week.”

There’s a good chance that T.J. Brodie’s oblique has responded to treatment and that he’ll be healed enough to allow him to play. Brodie has been practicing with the team for the past few days and could return. If not, I’m guessing that the Big Mac Attack (Auston Matthews’ nickname for Mac Hollowell) will jump back into the lineup. It also seems pretty certain that Conor Timmins, who played his first game as a Maple Leafs’ player, will draw in against the Kings as well.

Related: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs 4-0 Win Over Stars



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  2. gcmgome

    December 8, 2022 at 9:00 am

    With Conor Timmins and Mac Hollowell both in the line up the Leafs will now have four righties on the D corps. A defender playing his opposite side is a hit and miss proposition. Some players can do it without a hiccup, while others seem uncomfortable and are prone to gaffs on the ice. However, the vast majority of these scenarios are when a far more abundant lefty tries to fill in on the other side for a far less abundant righty.
    I wonder if any of these right shooting defensemen have played on their opposite side for any extended period of time?

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