Mitch Marner seems frustrated with media coverage regarding recent injury

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
18 days ago
Mitch Marner hasn’t played a game since March 7 after he suffered what appeared to be a high-ankle sprain after his leg got caught underneath him trying to shoot on Boston Bruins’ netminder Jeremy Swayman. While Marner’s working his way back and has since re-joined Leafs’ practice, his recent response to being asked about his injury has everyone doing a double take.
When Marner was asked Friday how he got hurt during the Bruins game, he responded:
I’ve been watching every game. You guys have been talking about it every single game. I think you guys can say whatever you want. It’s behind me now. Stuff happened and you just go on from it.
Interesting response, to say the least. The media can say whatever they want? Technically no, and from what I’ve gathered, most of Toronto’s media has been covering it as a high-ankle sprain, and more importantly, have been covering the team’s recent play. In fact, much of the coverage surrounding him has related to how much they miss him. I mean, the guy was playing defence in some games when the Maple Leafs’ blueline was depleted, what more could the team ask of him?
Marner is set to practice again next week and could be re-inserted into the lineup on Wednesday, April 3rd against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

So, What’s Set Marner Off?

It appears in Marner’s time off he’s had time on his hands to consume more media coverage than he’d like and it’s obvious the frustration is starting to boil over. He’s also likely very frustrated to be watching from the press box while the team is trying to prepare for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Marner’s over it, he wants to move on, he wants to play, and he wants people to stop talking about his health.
But, why not just come out and say I twisted my ankle? Wasn’t it obvious based on how it twisted on this shot?
It appears to be the same type of injury that kept him out of the Leafs’ lineup for weeks during the 2019-2020 season against the Philadelphia Flyers, Marner fell awkwardly after a faceoff at centre ice against the Philadelphia Flyers:

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Obviously, the Maple Leafs are better suited with Marner in the lineup. Out of all of the ‘core four’ their record is the worst when Marner doesn’t play. He’s vital for team success. He’s a catalyst on special teams, he constantly pushes pace during five-on-five and there’s zero doubt the Maple Leafs are a better team when he suits up.

Where Does Marner Play Once He Returns?

With Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi finding a home with Auston Matthews and their production skyrocketing because of it, will Sheldon Keefe split this lineup once Marner returns? If he moves to the second line, this means one of Marner or William Nylander would have to play their off wing, not necessarily ideal, but again, remind yourself Marner’s also played on the blue line this season so could easily handle the assignment.
Another option is having Marner start on the team’s third line alongside Pontus Holmberg and Matthew Knies; the same Holmberg that Marner called one of the most skilled players on the team. Perhaps there is some unsurfaced chemistry between the two. Knies has played a ton with Marner throughout his young career so it could be a recipe for success and balancing out the Leafs’ best players. What about Calle Jarnkrok though? Another injured Maple Leaf working his way back. Injuries are becoming a huge storyline for the Leafs as they look to prepare for the playoffs. It seems they won’t be able to get a ton of reps in with exactly how the lineup is going to be constructed for Game 1. Not ideal to say the very least.
Considering Marner plays on both sides of special teams, his ice time wouldn’t see a drastic drop, but there certainly would be a slight decrease if he does come back on the third line.

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