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Mitch Marner looks to continue his Next Generation game magic against the Ottawa Senators

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Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
1 month ago
Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs host their provincial rivals, the Ottawa Senators, for the third time this season, and tonight’s edition is the Next Generation game.
The Next Generation game, according to Maple Leafs’ President and Alternate Governor, Brendan Shanahan, is “to celebrate the youth in our community and encourage the next generation of fans to reach their hockey dreams.” Over the years, Toronto has hosted these games in the afternoon so kids of all ages could make it to the rink to watch their favourite team play. From having kids act as Sheldon Keefe on the bench during warmups to the rinkside reporter and in the booth, the Next Generation game is when kids are the focal point and enjoy themselves.
So, if you read the title and wondered why Mitch Marner’s name is connected to the Next Gen game, well, over the years, Marner has seemed to have a little extra jump in his play for these games, and not to mention, he is also in the middle of a hot stretch with 16 points in his last 11 games (eight goals and eight assists).
However, for the sake of the Next Gen games, Marner has played in ten of them, dating back to the first one the team played on December 17, 2017, when it was initially called the “Next Century” game. From that game onward, Marner has registered 21 points (nine goals and 12 assists) in just ten games.
Here are his stat lines from each of those ten games:
December 19, 2017, vs CAR – one goal and four assists (8-1 win)
January 3, 2019, vs MIN – two goals (4-3 loss)
December 23, 2019, vs CAR – two goals and three assists (8-6 win)
February 1, 2020, vs OTT – one goal (2-1 OT win)
February 29, 2020, vs VAN – one assist (4-2 win)
March 29, 2021, vs EDM – one goal and one assist (3-2 OT loss)
April 7, 2021, vs MTL – one assist (3-2 win)
March 23, 2022, vs NJ – one goal (3-2 win)
December 22, 2022, PHI – one goal and one assist (4-3 win)
January 27, 2023, vs OTT – one assist (6-2 loss)
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a ridiculous record of 7-2-1 in these Next Generation games, and they, along with Mitch Marner, will look to continue that into tonight’s tilt against one of their biggest rivals in the Ottawa Senators, as Toronto looks to build off their last win, which came before the Christmas break against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Pregame details:

Maple Leafs’ lineup:

Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Nick Robertson – Max Domi – Calle Jarnkrok
Bobby McMann – David Kampf – Noah Gregor
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Jake McCabe – Timothy Liljegren
Simon Benoit – William Lagesson
One update from Sheldon Keefe earlier this morning about some of the injured Leafs:

Senators lineup:

Brady Tkachuk – Josh Norris – Claude Giroux
Vladimir Tarasenko – Tim Stutzle – Drake Batherson
Dominik Kubalik – Ridley Greig – Angus Crookshank
Jiri Smejkal – Mark Kastelic – Parker Kelly
Jake Sanderson – Artem Zub
Jakob Chychrun Travis Hamonic
Erik Brannstrom – Jacob Bernard-Docker

Projected goalies:

Martin Jones (TOR) vs Joonas Korpisalo (OTT)

Broadcast:

Sportsnet, 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT
(Stats from Hockey-Reference.com)
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