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Tuesday’s FTB: How long will the Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner duo last?

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Believe in the power of 50.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets Jason Mowry-USA TODAY Sports

They dress together, head to games together, and now we’ll get to see them play together.

Mike Babcock took out the blue-and-white themed blender Monday at practice. The blueline was left the same with Jake Gardiner still sitting out with his back spasms. Andreas Johnsson wasn’t present as well as the hit he took from Niklas Hjalmarsson resulted in a concussion.

Justin Holl played the role of forward to fill in, but that wasn’t the only change with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner getting paired up on the “second” line.

Matthews and Marner are good buddies off the ice, at least that’s what it looks like and they connected on the powerplay back when it looked formidable. But the two have spent time together a 5v5 in those odd shifts after a penalty kill with John Tavares (1.6% of his offensive deployment at even strength via Frozen Pool).

There is a case for cautious optimism. Those were the lines on Monday, but things can change between now and Wednesday’s game against the Washington Capitals. And even if it does make its way to the starting lineup for the match who knows whether Babcock likes what he sees enough to let it be for more than a period.

The only way to solidify it is with results. Babcock went back to the vintage Hyman-Matthews-Nylander trio and quickly ended the nostalgia when not enough was shown.

That’ll be the question of week. Will Babcock give it a chance? Will it work? Is this the first step to turning things around and stop losing to teams that we should beat!? Tune in next time on Toronto: A Leafs Story.

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