NHL Hall of Famer defends Marner and blasts Leafs fans

Dawson Mckenzie
May 16, 2024  (9:38)

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner
Photo credit: X.com

This NHL hall of famer just took to his podcast to jump to Mitch Marner's defence and in turn, ended up blasting William Nylander instead for the Leafs' faults.

Since being eliminated from the playoff this year, Mitch Marner has been taking the brunt of the blame from Leaf fans for his poor play and production. Marner has been widely criticized for taking a large deal some time ago, and despite stellar regular season stat lines, he hasn't seemed to get it done in the playoffs when it matters.
Now, NHL Hall of Famer Adam Oates has come to Marner's defence, pointing out the real reasons as to why Marner looks bad right now and that there is actually plenty of blame to go around on that Leaf's roster.
«Like when Nylander yelled at him. Well, Nylander, first of all, you don't play against everybody's best. You play against everybody's second best. Let's get that straight. Number 2, he was mad at Matthews for a bad turnover at the blue line. That's what he's mad at, and he's also mad, and he threw his gloves. Why? Because he knows tomorrow in the paper they're gonna blame him. Like the power play was 1 for 20. If they're 5 for 20, they'd still be playing right now, and he'd have 3 more points. 4 more points. They wouldn't be complaining right now, would they?

So therefore, now you look at the power play, of course, well, that's 2 units, 10 guys, and 1 coach, right? And the head coach. So like, it's never one guy, and I feel bad for him because he's in that market that makes it very difficult. And then they, the winning goal, the next goal, they're blaming him. And it's like, if anything, if anybody knows anything about hockey, they were in a neutral zone regroup. So the F1 changed, he jumped over for F1, passed for the next guy. It's not his responsibility at all.»

While Oates is right, it's not always the case that Marner plays against the other teams best. For much of the post-season, he was on the second line, especially when Auston Matthews was in and healthy playing with Domi and Bertuzzi on the top line. Nylander, sometimes playing with the Leafs third line, didn't have much to help him out either.
Clearly, there is a lot of tension around the Leafs right now, and it remains unclear as to whether the Leafs will make another major move to shake up their core 4. Some think that a move has all but been done, and have already started naming teams.
"I believe Nashville - at some point - has been one of the teams that have said, 'if you consider moving him, give us a call.'"

We will have to wait and see what Brad Treliving is willing to do this offseason.
MAY 16   |   636 ANSWERS
NHL Hall of Famer defends Marner and blasts Leafs fans

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