KOSHAN: Marner’s attention to shot development could pay off, especially on power play

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Mitch Marner simply desires to get his shot.


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After all, it isn’t about whether or not the 24-year-old Maple Leafs star is anxious about his spot within the Toronto lineup.

Marner’s first 100-point season within the Nationwide Hockey League is an actual risk in 2021-22. His important function because the right-winger on the Leafs’ prime line couldn’t be any extra cemented.

That’s to not say Marner doesn’t wish to improve his sport in sure areas, and for the sixth-year Leaf, which means taking his shot to the subsequent degree.

Marner desires to make use of it extra, have better accuracy and put extra energy behind it. Drills by way of the summer time with the Leafs’ improvement workers, Marner hopes, will result in a better weapon for him as soon as the common season begins on Oct. 13.

Taking pictures could be a psychological hurdle, contemplating Marner’s instinct to create.


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“I’m attempting to be extra of a shock shooter and getting it towards the online, quite than attempting to be the perfect-shot man,” Marner mentioned after the Leafs’ second day of observe at coaching camp on the Ford Efficiency Centre. “Generally (he’s) an additional second behind. I’m attempting to scan the ice to see what different play I could make.

“Generally it’s the proper play, typically it’s in all probability higher simply getting pucks to the online. I’ll let my artistic (aspect) do its stuff, I’m not going to alter something with that. If I feel I could make a play, I’ll attempt to. I’m simply attempting to get the puck off my stick faster when I’ve a possibility.”

A part of that’s sure to return on the ability play. Marner scored 20 targets in 55 video games final season, however not one was scored when the Leafs had a man-advantage, regardless of Marner’s common of three minutes eight seconds a sport on the ability play (second on the Leafs to Auston Matthews).


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With new assistant coach Spencer Carbery now working the Toronto energy play after it completed twentieth within the NHL underneath Manny Malhotra final season, one change might see Marner shifting into the bumper spot, offering him with better alternatives to shoot.

If Marner takes one other step together with his shot, how a lot of an impression might which have on the ability play?

“Vital is our hope,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe mentioned. “You undergo the targets Mitch has scored over his over his time within the NHL on the ability play (21 in complete).

“He scored at occasions by taking pictures the puck, beating the goalies clear. Final season, they didn’t fall in for him. We count on issues to bounce again a bit of bit, but additionally together with his elevated work and recognition and a bit of little bit of the urgency from all the gamers on our energy play to be nice, we predict issues to flip.


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“It’s not simply in regards to the shot mentality essentially, it’s additionally in regards to the precise bodily shot and dealing on the main points of it. Credit score to him, as a result of he put in plenty of work to do this.”

On Friday, Carbery was feeding Marner, parked within the slot, for one-timers.

“He’s acquired a artistic thoughts,” Marner mentioned. “I feel he’s keen to attempt new issues and so is our entire energy play. We’ll see what occurs from there.”

In 2018-19, when Marner performed in all 82 video games, he had 94 factors. With 67 factors in 55 video games final season, he put himself on a tempo for 100 in an 82-game season.

As his shot turns into extra of a risk, is cracking the 100-point barrier attainable in ’21-’22?

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“I’m not interested by that,” Marner mentioned. “That’s sooner or later, that’s down the highway, I’m interested by simply seeing if I’m taking part in (Saturday within the pre-season opener).”


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Matthews, in the meantime, did some mild puckhandling drills on Friday, a number of days sooner than anticipated, as he continues to get better from surgical procedure on his left wrist.

“He took one other step,” Keefe mentioned. “Every day, he’s going to really feel higher and get extra performed and it’ll simply be a matter of how that progresses. There’s no precise date or something that we’re concentrating on at this level (for Matthews’ return).”


Sheldon Keefe was placing the ending touches on his Maple Leafs lineup for the pre-season opener.

“We’re sorting by way of issues, mapping out what the remaining video games in preseason would possibly appear like by way of how the variety of video games would possibly go (for sure gamers),” the Leafs coach mentioned. “Like plenty of groups, we could have our allotment of established NHL gamers taking part in, however plenty of different youthful guys might be in as effectively.”

The Leafs kick off their six-game pre-season schedule on Saturday night time once they play host to the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Enviornment. Information got here down on Friday from the province of Ontario that the Leafs have been given permission to have 50% capability for the sport.

“It feels superb,” Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds mentioned. “Being from right here and watching the Leafs play my entire life, it wasn’t the identical final 12 months with out the followers.

“You had the factitious crowd noise, which I assumed was sort of extra annoying than not, so I’m fairly excited to get an opportunity to lastly play in entrance of some actual Torontonians.”

Keefe’s general impression after two on-ice days at coaching camp?

“You’re at all times curious how they’re going to return again and reply from a tough Day 1,” Keefe mentioned. “Guys clearly are in form and conditioned and prepared for camp, on condition that they didn’t are available (Friday) sore or unable to take part.

“I used to be pleased with the work we acquired performed.”



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