Mitch Marner was back in the Maple Leafs line up tonight as the Leafs fell, 1-3, to the Colorado Avalanche.
The 22-year-old was injured back on November 9th when he left early in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The doctors determined that Marner had a high-ankle sprain.
Without Marner, the Maple Leafs went 4-7-1 with 36 goals for and 44 goals against. In this time the Leafs also fired Mike Babcock and the story regarding Marner’s rookie year came out so it was expected the kid was going to come back with some firepower.
Since hiring a new coach, the Leafs have gone 4-2-0 with 21 goals for and 17 goals against. This team has been reinvigorated under Sheldon Keefe and adding Marner back to the lineup will only make them stronger.
In his first 18 games of the season, Mitch had 18 points (4G 14A) while averaging 19:40 on the ice per game. In the 4 games prior to his injury, Marner was playing above 20 minutes a night.
Marner’s first night back didn’t end well for the Maple Leafs, finding their 2nd straight loss, but Mitch held up well. He played 22:53 and despite having a -1 rating, Mitch had 1 shot on goal, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots, and 3 takeaways. One of his blocked shots came guarding the empty net.
The kid is a warrior and even though the Leafs lost, it was to a worthy team. Colorado is on top of their game right now and only getting stronger every day they get more players back from the IR. A 1-3 loss to the Avalanche isn’t something to feel too bad about. The Leafs averaged a 50.42% Corsi For throughout the game and were a bit hesitant with the puck. Things are going to be improving in Toronto from here on.
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