Mitchell Marner equalizes Leafs’ franchise record streak

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner extended his career-winning streak to 18 games on Wednesday, setting a franchise record.

The winger continued his run by scoring an empty net goal in the late third period as Toronto beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1. He started this season with the longest active winning streak in the NHL and an overtime loss to the Sharks on October 27.

Marner joined Darryl Sittler (in 1977-78) and Eddie Olczyk (1989-90), the only Leafs to reach 18 games.

After a relatively slow start to the season – with just five points in his first seven games – Marner has become a dominant threat to the Leafs. He is currently the team leader with eight goals and 22 assists, scoring at least one point in 23 of 25 matches. This also ties Marner as the fourth most assists in the NHL so far.

Marner is the 23rd player in NHL history to have an 18-game streak. He has seven goals and 17 assists in the series.

Marner had two chances in the empty net in the closing minutes on Wednesday, trying to pass first and then another shot as the Scotiabank Arena crowd groaned. He took another chance and eventually buried the disc.

When asked if he felt a sense of relief, Marner replied, “Yeah, so you’ve seen me? I can’t wait to talk to my dad. He’s like, ‘What the hell are you doing in that pass? first? [Michael Bunting]When he looked at me on the bench, he couldn’t believe I was trying to pass him.”

The 25-year-old has been an effective playmaker since entering the league in 2016-17 and has amassed more than double the assists for goals in nearly every season to date. According to Stathletes data, Marner is leading the NHL home transitions (3.62 per game) this season, which has helped keep his teammates on the line.

Marner took care to praise those around him during this one-month period. After scoring a 17-game winning streak in Detroit on Monday, Marner quickly realized that such a feat didn’t happen out of nowhere.

“This is great, but nothing can be accomplished alone,” he said. “I always congratulate your teammates and always have a lot of love for these guys playing games and finding me on the open ice.”

Beyond playing a pivotal 5v5 for Toronto, Marner is a key player in the Leafs’ best power-play and penalty-kill units. He leads all Toronto forwards in terms of average ice time (21:29) and short time ice time (2:20).

Marner stands alone with the Leafs’ record for points as Toronto faces Tampa Bay on Saturday.

This report uses information from the Associated Press.

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