Leafs winger Bobby McMann
Photo credit: USA Today Sports

Bobby McMann's recent string of success may be due to the support of one teammate

Published February 18, 2024 at 11:08

Bobby McMann was struggling to solidify his spot in the lineup as he had just 2 goals through 26 games that were sporadically spread out between November and February. However over his last 3 games, McMann has scored 5 goals and 6 points and part of that rejuvenation can be correlated towards Auston Matthews.

McMann propelled the Maple Leafs with a hat-trick against the St. Louis Blues on Monday night, including 2 goals in the third period. The Toronto Maple Leafs had just found out that Morgan Rielly would be suspended for the next 5 games and Mitch Marner and John Tavares were both late scratches due to illnesses. It was the perfect time for someone to step up to the plate and McMann swung for the fences and ended up hitting a home-run.

After a strong performance on Monday, McMann followed that up by adding 2 goals and an assist in last night's 9-2 drubbing of the Anaheim Ducks. Matthews, who has now scored a hat-trick in successive contests, was urging McMann to get back out there and to score another goal:

"I was telling him to fire it for one more. It would have been pretty cool to see. He has been playing so well for us. He just keeps getting better and better each game."

After the game, McMann said that once he scored his second, Matthews was pushing him on for a third goal to complete the hat-trick. However, it's way easier said than done when you're leading the league with 48 goals in 52 games:

"It's easier said than done. He makes it look easy."

McMann played in 10 games last season with the Maple Leafs but only mustered 1 assist. He did however score 21 goals and 29 points in 30 games for the Toronto Marlies, showcasing the offensive skill he possesses. Things haven't necessarily translated this year as he also just averaged 9:10 TOI in his first 26 games, but over his last 3, he has seen his ice time rise to over 13 minutes a game.

The Leafs desperately needed more secondary, so if McMann can pull his weight, Sheldon Keefe will have no other choice but to keep him around long-term.

February 18   |   968 answers
Bobby McMann's recent string of success may be due to the support of one teammate

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