According to multiple reports from Toronto Maple Leafs insiders like Jonas Siegel, Luke Fox and Kristen Shilton, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock has decided to put young superstars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner on a line together, alongside veteran winger Patrick Marleau.
Marner’s usual centre, John Tavares, will play between Zach Hyman and Kasperi Kapanen.
According to Shilton, Babcock has non-committal about how long the pair would stay together, though.
“We’re roommates on the road, so we hang out quite a bit. We’ve played together before; we’ve had the chemistry out there,” Marner said. “I also think I’m there for support, make sure I talk to him while I’m on the ice. We haven’t played together a whole lot, so it’s gonna need a little warming up to do, but we’ve got to do it quick.”
Matthews is sure that the trio will have success, given their off ice chemistry.
“We spend a lot of time with Patty on the road, so hopefully the three of us can complement each other well, get some stuff rolling,” Matthews said.
“Maybe you get a little pep in your step playing with other guys that you don’t usually get to play with, so hopefully we ignite something here.”
The Leafs have lost two straight and have only one win in their past five games, so you had to expect Babcock would shake up his lines sooner or later. With a big matchup against the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals on Wednesday evening, it’s really no surprise that Babs has decided to put his lines in a blender.