Maple Leafs Coach Sheldon Keefe Firmly Backs Mitch Marner Amidst Criticism from Toronto Media

Dawson Mckenzie
November 26, 2023  (1:58 PM)

After Mitch Marner didn't score again on Saturday night, continuing his quiet period over the last few games. Despite the criticism, Sheldon Keefe continues to show his support for Marner.

Marner Being Unfairly Criticised By Media For Last Few Games

Mitch Marner is quietly having another solid season, with 20 points in 19 games to start the year. He has slowed his production over the last few games, with just 3 assists in the last 7 contests.
This has caused the Media to give Marner some slack on his performance, despite his overall point production. However, Sheldon Keefe took to the media after the Leafs' loss on Saturday to back Marner, when he could have easily passed the blame onto him.
"I look at our five-on-five scoring this season and at the top of the list is Mitch Marner," said Keefe on Saturday night in defense of his star forward. "Guy here that we say hasn't played his best hockey, and has all the hardest matchups every single night, yet is at the top of our team in five-on-five scoring. So, it's interesting how it all works out."

Keefe is right, Marner has the hardest matchups every night and is still producing at over a point per game this season. Leafs media tends to be shortsighted, focusing on the recent past, however, its clear Marner is having a great season, and is nice to see Sheldon Keefe back his top guys.

Marner and the Leafs Drop First Meeting With Former GM Kyle Dubas

Despite Marner and the Leafs effort, the Leafs dropped their first game against former GM Kyle Dubas and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. While the Leafs have seemed to find the missing piece in their depth scoring, they didn't quite get what they needed from the top guys.
Jarnkrok shoots for the rebound and Knies buries it

The Penguins knew that this was an important game, adding a little motivation to their play.
Mike Sullivan on the team recognizing it's Kyle Dubas's first game against the Leafs: «There's a little added motivation for us to bring our best.»

The Leafs will look to bounce back on Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers in a rematch of last year's second round.
As seen on Hockey Feed - "Sheldon Keefe defends Mitch Marner after loss on Saturday."
Maple Leafs Coach Sheldon Keefe Firmly Backs Mitch Marner Amidst Criticism from Toronto Media

Do you think that Marner needs to step up?

Yes77484.4 %
No14315.6 %
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