Mitch Marner is silencing critics since returning to the lineup

Ben Hodgson
January 30, 2022  (12:01)

Mitch Marner has scored in 5 straight games. Let me repeat that. Mitch Marner has scored in 5 straight games. The Leafs' divisive star winger has had a rough first to the 2021-2022 season by his standards, which is hilarious to say because he's got 28 points in 30 games.

The shoulder injury he suffered in practice at the beginning of December threw a bit of a wrench into Marner's season and that was followed up by a stint on the COVID protocol list. While a month or more out of action can greatly impact a player's production coming back, it seems to have had the opposite effect on Marner, who has been on fire.
This is the Mitch Marner that Kyle Dubas hoped to see when he signed his massive contract back in 2019. He's been dynamic in all 3 zones, effective on the PK, dangerous on the PP and creating transition opportunities in the neutral zone.
Marner has faced a ton of criticism this season from the fans. His massive powerplay scoring slump and lack of goal scoring were valid concerns, but evidently, that's in the past now. The good old Toronto boy is back to his best version of himself, and it's great to see. His head coach Sheldon Keefe was very complimentary of the 24-year-old on Saturday.
Marner will likely always be the subject of great criticism, given the level of animosity that a large cohort of Leafs Nation has for the Markham, Ontario native after he essentially held GM Kyle Dubas' feet over the coals to squeeze every dollar he could out of the Leafs, while most of his comparables took less to remain with their respective teams. But, at least if he continues to produce like he has been, with 9 points in his last 5 games, he'll have a shot to turn some of his detractors into believers.
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