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Pitchforks Are Out For Maple Leafs’ Mitch Marner

Mitch Marner got an earful from teammates and is taking the blame for a bad loss. The pitchforks are out for the Maple Leafs’ forward.

Game 4 seems to have put a stamp on the already building animosity towards Mitch Marner in Leafs Nation. Following an ugly 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday, the piling on intensified when it was caught on television that the stars on the Maple Leafs were verbally getting after each other and Marner threw his gloves on the bench in frustration. Marner hasn’t played well and his effort level has been questioned. The scene on Saturday now has the villagers with their pitchforks out.

Social media has been flooded with negative comments on Marner’s effort level, accompanied by memes of him dancing and not taking things seriously. The messaging all seems to be the same… it’s time he goes.

Nylander and Matthews Unload on Marner

In his first game back, William Nylander gave Marner an earful. It’s impossible to know for sure what he said, but most believe it was “Stop f***ing crying.” others believe he added, “This isn’t junior.” That one feels like a guess. Another guess is that he said, “Just fu— shoot!” Either way, Nylander was on his case and he wasn’t the only one.

Auston Matthews seemed to have some choice words for Marner too. Matthews was pulled by doctors after the second period due to an illness and he hasn’t necessarily stepped up as much as the Leafs need him to, but it seemed to be that Matthews frustration was with Marner as well.

Kelly Hrudey said of Marner throwing his gloves on the bench that only an eight-year-old does that. At this level, it’s unacceptable. Paul Bissonnette tore into Marner’s effort level and several bad plays during the game that likely led to why his teammates were so upset and why the team was booed off the ice by fans. Biz suggested the Leafs sit him. In a tweet during the game, he wrote, “Get Marner off the ice. I’ve seen enough. Unacceptable. He’s lost every single puck battle tonight. Lost it before the penalty. In complete no mans land on the PK. Enough is enough. Earn your ice.”

Unfortunately for Marner critics, it doesn’t sound like that’s going to happen. Sheldon Keefe said after the game: “Nothing wrong with our effort level here tonight. Guys are competing. It’s physical hockey. Guys are trying. It’s a good team over there. It’s limiting us. You can question a lot of things, can’t question the effort.”

Is Mitch Marner the Scapegoat in Toronto

Maybe the pitchforks are out for the wrong person. At the very least, maybe there is more than one person to blame for the mess the Leafs now find themselves in… again. “We’re not yelling at each other because we hate each other. We just want to be all on the same page to help each other out,” said Marner after the game. He’s probably not wrong, but is it too late?

Matthews yells at Marner
Auston Matthews yells at Mitch Marner on the Maple Leafs bench

If the Leafs don’t come back in this series — what feels like a nearly impossible task now — this is just another year gone down the drain with essentially the same core and coach that hasn’t been able to get it done in the past. There’s a lot of blame that can go around with this organization and while Marner may be at fault for his compete level, he alone is not responsible for repeated failures by this franchise to put together a winning roster.

Some will ask why Matthews didn’t battle in the third and fight through an illness. Others will want a better explanation about where Nylander has been for three games than the brushing off this organization has done up to this point. Fans should be asking why the team didn’t put together a stronger blue line to start the season or make sure their goaltending was solidified.

Next: Amazing Hyman Playoff Stat Bringing Shame to the Maple Leafs



  1. Jon Harding

    April 28, 2024 at 10:53 am

    This is the 10th or 11th best team in the NHL that needs three or four good players added, at least two of them defencemen, to be a contender. It’s not Morgan Reilly’s fault he is not a true No. 1 defenceman and it’s not John Tavares’ fault his playing style isn’t condusive to making players around him better. It is management’s fault that they don’t recognize these flaws and correct them. The big mistakes were Shanahan picking Dubas and Dubas’s naive and idealistic approach to building an NHL team. Give Treliving an off-season to fix this.

  2. Afp1961

    April 28, 2024 at 10:59 am

    Jim – I’m not like the wagon jumpers.

    Have been saying and written live for five years that Marner had to go. Ever since daddy agent demanded equal pay to the others and the alternate A on his Jersey if Matthews was getting one.

    Wrote – He is not a leader. He is not and never will be a playoff warrior.

    Wrote – Dufas overpaid him and buckled to the pressure.

    Wrote – trade him to Buffalo befor his NMC kicked in for at that time the injured Eichel. Sabres would have jumped at this chance and the leafs would have gotten a stela in Eichel and been set at center along with Matthews for the next 5-7 years.

    Was ripped for years to have this narrative.
    Only now are all the wagon jumpers finally seeing what most long standing Hickey fans saw years ago….

  3. KenBaumgartner

    April 28, 2024 at 12:44 pm

    I too wanted Marner traded after the contract overpayment but for Reinhart when he wanted out. Could of got Reinhart and a 1st. Now Reinhart’s the better player and would of been cheaper to lock down

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