The Wraparound: Can Marner, Matthews solve Price, Canadiens?

The Wraparound: Can Marner, Matthews solve Price, Canadiens?
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The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down the NHL playoff games today with the all-important television and live streaming information included.

Vegas outlasted Minnesota in Game 7 to advance to the Second Round.

• Will the final First Round series end? That depends upon what happens between the Maple Leafs and Canadiens in Game 6 on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

• The Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begins on Saturday with the Bruins vs Islanders (8 p.m. ET; NBC).

• Game 1 of Hurricanes – Lightning kicks off on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET (NBCSN) on Sunday. Following that, the Golden Knights will play the Avalanche in Game 1 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

The good news it that Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner have played well during their First Round series vs. the Canadiens. The bad news is that their strong play has rarely resulted in goals behind Carey Price in the Montreal net.

Really, with John Tavares sidelined, the most promising news for the Maple Leafs is that they’re up 3-2 in their series vs. the Canadiens heading into Game 6.

But, yes, the Maple Leafs might need results, not just a strong process, from Marner and Matthews on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 First and Second Round schedule, TV info]

Again, it’s worth noting that Marner and Matthews are creating chances.

In Matthews’ case, it’s especially obvious. Through five games, Matthews fired 42 shot attempts, with 25 resulting in shots on goal. Considering Matthews’ volume of shots — his 25 SOG easily lead anyone in this series, with Josh Anderson at a distant second with 17 SOG — it has to be frustrating to only have one goal so far.

Even beyond Matthews, that line is peppering Carey Price with shots. (Mitch Marner’s fired 14 SOG, while Zach Hyman‘s generated 16.)

They’re not just piling on empty-calorie chances, either. They’ve dominated the high-danger chance battle, generating 19 for and just six against at even-strength.


Yes, it’s frustrating to hear phrases like “it’s just a matter of time.” But, if Matthews, Marner, and Hyman (or someone other than Hyman?) maintain this level of play, it could turn around as early as Game 6.

“I think we’re hunting pucks, we’re trying to stay above them, we’re forcing turnovers, and (we’re) just trying to attack the net as much as possible,” Matthews said. “We just want to continue to do that. We’re getting chances. [We need to] continue to just bear down and capitalize on some of these opportunities.”


Game 6: Maple Leafs at Canadiens (TOR leads 3-2), 7:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)
Game 1: Islanders at Bruins, 8 p.m. ET – NBC (livestream)


Game 1: Lightning at Hurricanes, 5 p.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)
Game 1: Golden Knights at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET – NBC (livestream)

PHT’s 2021 Stanley Cup previews
• Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens

• Stanley Cup playoff predictions
• Why your team can (and can not) win the Stanley Cup this season
• NHL odds: Division winners, 2021 Stanley Cup champion

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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