After the Maple Leafs’ dynamic young duo of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner were caught singing along to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer” in the midst of the insane brawls all around them, and received a shout out on twitter from the man himself, they were asked today at practice whether they’d heard it from their teammates (via Mark Masters of TSN).
A lot of the guys telling us to focus on the game and stuff. We’re living our dream right now…probably the most important thing is to go out there and have fun.
While the teams were earning 130 PIM around them, Matthews and Marner were each earning more points and continue to dominate the conversation in Toronto. The teenagers have 11 and 10 points respectively through 12 games.
- Morgan Rielly, the Maple Leafs de facto leader on the blueline is being asked to do even more this season, and he showed it on Saturday with the hit that set off all the fireworks. Now as the current and future number 1 in Toronto, head coach Mike Babcock expects him to take on these responsibilities (via Kristin Shilton of TSN): “We need him to be a real high-end guy in this league and I think him and (Nikita) Zaitsev have a chance to be a real good pair. Dion (Phaneuf) was for a long time and took a lot of heat for a lot of kids..now (Rielly)’s at a point in his career, he’s got to be that guy for us.”
- Also from Masters, Matt Hunwick returned to practice today and is apparently “just around the corner” for his return to the lineup. Hunwick was placed on injured reserve a week ago with a lower-body injury. The 31-year old will have a good chance to get back into the lineup right away, as Martin Marincin has struggled in the early going.