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Major change for Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner expected under Craig Berube


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David Llewellyn
July 7, 2024  (8:57 PM)
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Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner
Photo credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The departure of Sheldon Keefe and arrival of Craig Berube expected to lead to major changes involving Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner's deployment.

During the their Cup-winning 2018-19 season, the St. Louis Blues did not have a single forward other than Ryan O'Reilly averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game.
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In Toronto's case, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner averaged around 21 minutes per game each, with William Nylander hovering around the 20-minute mark.
In the playoffs, Marner and Nylander averaged over 20 minutes per game. Matthews would have ended up above 20 minutes as well if not for injury. Captain John Tavares also averaged over 19 minutes in the postseason.
In a vacuum, this may not seem like much, but over the course of a season it really adds up. The Maple Leafs lack depth scoring, which leads to an over-reliance on the star forwards to put the puck in the net, especially when the team is trailing.
Expect to see Craig Berube doll out ice time more evenly during the season. Not a huge change for the Core 4, but they will certainly play a little less in most games this year. Less wear and tear should help these guys when the playoffs begin.
The Maple Leafs are still look at making changes to their forward group this summer. Adding some scoring on the 3rd and 4th line is critical for Berube to be able to roll out each line effectively. We'll see how this is addressed in the coming weeks.
Source: Hockey-Reference
Maple Leafs 2023-24 season stats
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Major change for Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner expected under Craig Berube

Will less ice time help Matthews and Marner to be more effective in the long run?

Yes61675.1 %
No20424.9 %
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