If I could use one word to describe Martin Marincin, I would say he’s mysteriously interesting. I believe that because we never really get to know too much about him, or even see him off of the ice.
No social media presence, rarely any interviews (other than when he scored that incredible goal against the Vancouver Canucks) and when he’s playing, you don’t get to see very much of him until he makes himself known, which could be good or bad.
He played 26 games this season, averaged the same amount of ice-time as his last, but had one less point. The only difference maker though was his highlight-reel goal in February.
But a lot of you may be wondering, why write a summer preview for Marincin?
Well, he’s still a very important member to the team because if a player goes down with an injury, the 28-year-old is a possibility to be inserted into the lineup.
A lot of that though depends on the role being given. If it’s a key penalty killing defenceman that goes down, such as Justin Holl or Jake Muzzin, we could see Marincin enter the lineup. That is unless Rasmus Sandin is the first choice, and plays on the penalty kill too.
Throughout this season, the Maple Leafs have had their fair share of problems. The lack-of defensive structure hurt them incredibly — and so did their special teams.
Hiring one of the best assistant coaches, who looked after special teams — fans were excited for what was to come. However, the penalty kill failed to deliver on most nights this season.
It wasn’t because Marincin didn’t play most of this year, because we know he didn’t succeed in five-on-five situations. I do believe though he would’ve made a difference on the penalty kill.
It isn’t a surprise that Marincin is one of the best penalty killing specialists on the team. Along with his size, he can use his long reach to break up passes through the slot, all while also having a strong poke in his inventory of skills as well.
Being able to limit the second-least of each of xGA/60, HDCA/60 and HDGA/60, Marincin possesses some of the best penalty killing numbers as a Maple Leafs defenceman.
The lack of effectiveness to perform five-on-five is the main reason as to why he’s not one of the Maple Leafs’ regulars. While he provides a lot defensively and his numbers show that he’s reliable, Marincin struggles often with decision making in his own end.
You never know what you’re going to get on a game-to-game basis from Marincin. Some nights he could be one of the best defencemen on the team, or someone who can’t clear the puck out of his own end.
Here’s some of the good that he’s had:
Marincin & Oz certainly aren’t the most mobile defensemen but their large wingspan keeps them effective.
1. Marincin steps-up & stops 4th liner Patrik Laine.
2. Oz gets blown by but recovers beautifully.
In both plays, the defenseman’s long-reach allows them to get the puck. pic.twitter.com/zPDJvzNBdK
— Nick DeSouza (@NickDeSouza_) October 29, 2018
Sandin and Marincin are a nice pairing, look at them move that puck out. pic.twitter.com/XBCN36uQ9W
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) September 28, 2019
While I can’t find some of the bad, we’ve all witnessed Marincin fumble the puck or lose it along the boards in games. But we also can say we’ve seen a lot of good out of the 28-year-old too.
For the most part though, he’s a solid third-pairing defenceman, but he struggles mightily to be consistent on a game-in, game-out basis.
Unless there’s a significant injury on the backend, Marincin won’t likely see any ice time in this series.
As the Maple Leafs get set for Columbus in their Phase 3 Return To Play training camp, there’s been no indication that Marincin will get a look to be a part of the starting lineup in August.
However, if the Maple Leafs are struggling, Sheldon Keefe could look to other players to come in and make a difference, but right now that doesn’t seem likely.
We can expect nothing, unless the Maple Leafs go deep and injuries pile up.
Marincin is a strong depth player who can come in and out of the lineup at anytime. If the 28-year-old does comes in, he can certainly make a difference, but only short term.
If a player goes down with an injury (knocking on wood here), either one of Marincin or Sandin will be ready to come in (it will likely be Sandin).
Marincin last played in the playoffs in the 2016-17 season, but there’s always a chance he makes a return, but only he decides how his return will pan out.