DALLAS — It’s easy to get lost in the immense shadow of Auston Matthews — unless your name is Mitch Marner.
While Matthews remains a goal shy of breaking the Maple Leafs’ single season record of 54 by Rick Vaive, and has 12 games to reach 60, Marner has been on a career-high roll. Heading into Thursday’s game against the Dallas Stars, the winger has 26 points over an 11-game streak that began with a couple of assists against the Stars. That’s 88 points in all, sixth in the league, seven behind Matthews who sits fourth overall.
While Matthews’ attempt to pass Vaive was stopped Tuesday in Florida, Marner got into the NHL record book for the quickest short-handed and power-play goal, just 37 seconds apart.
Wayne Gretzky, wearing his analyst’s hat, said earlier this week that unlike the Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl duo, Marner does not have the share of McDavid’s stage the latter enjoys.
“Maybe Marner doesn’t get as much attention as Leon because he doesn’t have 50 goals,” Gretzky said. “But his value to Matthews is similar to Leon’s value to Connor.”