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Toronto Maple Leafs 2023-24 Report Card: Mitch Marner – Hockey Writers – Toronto Maple Leafs

After consecutive 95-plus seasons, Mitch Marner entered 2023-24 hoping to surpass 100 points for the first time in his career. Playing next to 69-goal scorer Auston Matthews certainly helped raise those hopes, but injuries limited him to 69 games and he never hit triple digits. After the season, many disgruntled Toronto Maple Leafs fans attributed a large amount of blame to the series loss against the Bruins for Marner's “disappointing” playoff run, portraying him as a soft player who could not play in the playoffs.

Regular Season

While the point production has been there for Marner — he's rushed for 100 points for the third straight season — his underlying metrics take a big hit from what he's been in years. At 5v5, his expected goals share (xGF%) of 52.89% was the lowest of his career since 2018-19, and the lowest compared to his previous three seasons (55.22%, 61.84%, and 57.51%, respectively). His high-dangerous chance percentage (HDCF%) is down significantly from the last three seasons, down to 54.61%, significantly lower than the 56.03%, 62.42%, and 60.90% he had in those campaigns.

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His average stats make for an interesting, but unsurprising, conclusion to his season – the offense was consistent in previous seasons, but his defensive game was sorely lacking in comparison. When Marner was on the ice, the Maple Leafs produced a 2.86 goals against per 60 minutes (xGF/60), which, while slightly lower than last season, is almost on par with his career numbers. Defensively, however, the Maple Leafs have given up a 2.55 goals-against-60 (xGA/60) rating, which is the second-highest mark of his career. As he used to hover in the 2.1-2.3 xGA/60 range, he clearly wasn't his usual defensive self in 2023-24. Individually, Marner was still the same player. His 0.95 5v5 goals per 60 minutes was the third highest of his career, and he had more 5v5 shot attempts per 60 minutes than ever before (15.68). He was also punished, with only 18 penalty minutes (PIM) in the season.

Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/Hockey Writers)

Still, regardless of the metrics, Marner put together an 85-point campaign in just 69 games. He continued his regular season legacy as one of the best forwards in recent Maple Leafs history and hopes to extend that success into the playoffs.

2023-24 regular season grade: B

Playoffs games

Unfortunately, his performance in the first round against the Bruins, like the Maple Leafs' overall performance, was disappointing, especially considering his previous record. He put up just three points — one goal and two assists — in seven Round 1 games, well below the near-point-per-game pace he's put up in his previous 50 playoff games. His xGF% has never stayed above 50%, which is surprising considering he has exceeded 60% in three of his last four playoff runs. Not only was his 2.5 xGA/60 the worst mark of his postseason career, but his xGF/60 was the lowest in his last four postseasons. Individual metrics got worse and, for the first time in his career, he didn't register a single point on the power play in the playoffs.

The frustration of the Maple Leafs' top dogs erupted into a bench brawl between the team's top three players in Game 4. Marner had a hard time with teammate and legendary teammate William Nylander after he expressed frustration with Matthews on the bench. past game. Still, since the first round belonged to Marner and the Maple Leafs, it's important to note that he didn't get it. played at 5v5 in the series – it was bad compared to what we are used to.

2024 playoff grade: C-

Marner's future with the Maple Leafs is uncertain

Since his poor performance in the playoffs, rumors have swirled about his future with the organization. In fact, one hockey expert says there is a “5% chance” that a top winger will stay with the team during the offseason. With major changes coming to the Maple Leafs, including a new coach who once opposed a finesse-centric system, Marner may have played his final season in Toronto. However, they should get a big return considering his track record as one of the most talented players in the league.

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