The Domi and Matthews friendship has led to a productive duo for the Maple Leafs

Photo credit:Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
26 days ago
One good thing about Mitch Marner rolling his ankle? The time away has given Max Domi a chance to ride shotgun to Auston Matthews.
Domi’s facilitation style and high hockey IQ has been shining through lately as he’s been able to find some serious chemistry dishing the puck to Matthews. The two have built quite the friendship since Domi joined the Maple Leafs as it’s not just hockey they enjoy. They sit together on plane rides, talk tennis, fashion, love for dogs and everything in between (according to a TSN report).
Domi’s admitted to being Matthews’ number one fan and calls him the most complete player in the NHL for his ability to bury goals, but also play effectively on both sides of the puck. Against the Washington Capitals earlier this week, the two put on a show, and it seemed like they had been playing together for years. You can tell they think the game the same and are starting to look for each other more with every shift. The Maple Leafs newest dynamic duo have been asked a lot about each other recently and let’s just say the bromance is alive and well as Matthews points out it comes down to communication, just like every solid relationship:
I think communication is a big piece. Something I like to do is just communicate, talk and sort stuff out, ask questions, get a feel for what the other guy’s thinking as well. That’s a pretty big piece, in my opinion, and I think we’ve been able to do that in the couple games we’ve been together. We sit next to each other on the plane. We enjoy hanging out and all that stuff. We got a great relationship off the ice. He’s such a smart player out there. He makes the game easy. He can make plays. He moves spatially well and just communicates a lot out there, so it just makes it easier on myself and Bertuzzi to move into space and try to find each other.
Domi was a fan before he joined the Leafs and now he’s happy to call Matthews a friend. The two share the same agent so there’s certainly a slight connection there to consider, however it seems their love for tennis has been a great way to get to know each other a little better off the ice:
We got to know each other a little bit through that. Both of us love tennis so we got a lot to talk about with that. I’m his No. 1 fan and love getting to know him. He’s a great human being. Loves working on his craft and we got a lot of similarities in that sense. Both of us like pushing the pace and both of us want to win so we have fun together for sure.
It will be fun to see what kind of night the two have in their matchup against the high-powered Edmonton Oilers. There isn’t much of a rivalry due to the fact the teams hardly ever play each other, however there will be plenty of storylines to follow with Domi and Matthews ready to suit up together again and Zach Hyman chasing 50 goals for the first time in his career.

Marner could fit seamlessly with Leafs new duo

Marner and Domi have a decorated history via junior hockey with the London Knights and the highlight tapes speak for themselves. Meanwhile Marner and Matthews have been the Leafs best duo and one of the most productive in the league for several seasons. It makes a ton of sense to use Marner and Domi on either wing with Matthews once Marner returns to action.
This would allow for Bertuzzi to move down to the second line with John Tavares and William Nylander, a trio that has played together a ton, especially throughout the middle months of the season. With how Bertuzzi’s been rolling of late, this would be a great way to balance out the secondary scoring.
The only issue with Domi and Marner both being with Matthews is they both are pass first and usually it’s nice to have one work horse on the line who’s going to get in deep and retrieve pucks. That’s not necessarily Domi’s game but it feels like you give him a chance to play with his old pal in Marner and his new best friend, the ceiling sky high.
Nevertheless, Sheldon Keefe has a ton of decisions to make before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but with the way Domi and Matthews have looked together, keeping them together appears to be a no-brainer, even with Marner returns.

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