This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Marner just part of a November to remember for Leafs

Maple Leafs players, including Mitch Marner (left) celebrate after one of their wins in November, against the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 23, 2022 in Newark, N.J.
Maple Leafs players, including Mitch Marner (left) celebrate after one of their wins in November, against the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 23, 2022 in Newark, N.J. Photo by Mitchell Leff /Getty Images

This was a streak spawned when the Maple Leafs were at a low point, before Mitch Marner lifted himself and the team for what is shaping up as a record ride.

The Maple Leafs’ game against the Sharks on Wednesday will be far removed from late October in San Jose, when Marner’s goal and assist, were mostly ignored as a terrible Western U.S. road trip unfolded.

As the Canadian national soccer teams head to their respective FIFA World Cups, Derek Van Diest is on the scene to cover all the action. Expect expert insights and analysis in your inbox daily throughout the tournaments, and weekly on Thursdays for the rest of the season.

By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

A few days later, there were calls for trades or maybe a firing to straighten out a team that had dropped four straight in its slow start and lost its way.

But Marner stayed on course, a blocked shot here, a breakout pass there, lots of ice chatter and a few snappy quotes to the press about the sky not falling. And just like that, November became the month of Mitch, rolling up to the present six goals and 17 assists, a point in 17 consecutive matches, one shy of tying the franchise record.

It was hard to avoid Marner mania Tuesday at practice.

“He’s staying (bleeping) hot, eh?” enthused Russian goalie Ilya Samsonov, who has been viewing action from the press box while recovering from a knee injury. “He’s a nice guy. We’ll see tomorrow (if he ties it). Why not?”

The Leafs have lost only once in regulation in November while Marner has been on the march (10-1-3).

“I’m just doing my thing,” Marner said of keeping focus after his points drive helped with the most recent four-game road sweep. “Trying not to be any more superstitious than I already am.

“Contributing is great, but the wins are most important. That (October) trip wasn’t great, we all know it and we were unhappy with how we were playing overall.

“We’ve switched things around, back to being quick, all over the puck, getting it out. In the O-zone, we’re doing a good job getting it off the wall into the middle with space.

“We talked about being in no-panic mode, we trust each other and we figured it out.”

While coach Sheldon Keefe has been juggling personnel on every line this season, Marner was removed from his usual right wing spot with Auston Matthews and Michael Bunting to a new unit with centre John Tavares and now Calle Jarnkrok, hardly missing a beat.

“It just speaks to his ability, whether it’s 5-on-5, power play or penalty kill,” Keefe said. “There are times in a streak like this where you need a bounce to go your way, but certainly recently he’s making some big-time plays at key moments, on the forecheck stripping guys.

“Those are hard-working competitive goals where a lot of work is done without the puck. He’s a dynamic guy and a first team all-star for a reason. He gets full marks for this streak and our team’s been benefitting.”

Samsonov says he’s ready to play after sitting since Nov. 5, but with Matt Murray doing well, Keefe indicated he won’t start for a couple of more days. After Wednesday, the Leafs have two more tough road assignments in Tampa Bay and Dallas.

Keefe is also keeping defenceman Conor Timmins in reserve, citing lack of quality practice time since he joined the team last week. The play of the present six blueliners, despite four veterans being injured, remains another pleasant development.

Nick Robertson is coming back in the lineup, on right wing with centre David Kampf and Zach Aston-Reese, while Wayne Simmonds and Denis Malgin are the likely scratches Wednesday.

  1. Maple Leafs' Mark Giordano (55) and Calle Jarnkrok (19) knock Red Wings' Lucas Raymond off the puck during the second period on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in Detroit.

    Marner, Leafs extend hot streaks

  2. Former Toronto Maple Leaf Borje Salming is honored during a pregame ceremony prior to the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Scotiabank Arena on November 11, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Salming, joined with his wife Pia, was diagnosed with ALS earlier this year. at the Scotiabank Arena on November 12, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    Tribute to Salming, ALS fundraiser on Wednesday