The Blue and White Freight Train
Jan. 29th 2017
Matt Martin of the Toronto Maple Leafs may seem as if he doesn’t belong due to the Maple Leafs current line up of speed, skill and agility.
But this is where you’d be wrong, Just like Gretzky back in the good old days of hockey, all these small skilled guys need to be protected. Like Wayne and Marty you have the Leafs and Martin.
Since Martin's NHL debut he been one of the top hitters in the league. In the 2014-15 season while with the New York Islanders Matt Martin set the league record for hits in a single season coming away with 382 checks.
Now don’t be fooled, this 220lb blue and white freight train isn’t all body checks. Martin has shown plenty of skill this season, unfortunately the goal totals don’t do it justice as Martin has only recorded 6 points in 46 games as of this writing. This puts him on pace for his lowest point total of his career. But he's not here to win the Art Ross. Though Martins points are low he’s playing his roll perfectly along with adding to the already exciting Maple Leafs team of 2016/2017.
Martin has not only been physical along the board he’s also quick to drop the gloves. Martins been in ten fights this year : nine in the regular season along with one in the pre-season .The most memorable one being his November 5th tilt vs the Vancouver Canucks in the 3rd period. Martin would square off with Tory Stecher behind the net before Vancouvers Ryan Miller jumped in, this did not stop Martin how ever as he proceeded to fight both men before Leafs goaltender Frederick Andersen came to take care of Vancouver goaltender Miller. As that fight would end Martin wasn’t finished as he would then grab on to Vancouver's Ben Hutton. While being escorted off the ice Martin proceeded to call out the whole Canuck bench. This would the result in Erik Gudbranson uttering “you’re f****** dead” to the Leaf tough guy. This is exactly the kinda grit and toughness this Maple Leaf organization needed. Now currently sitting second in the league for hits.
Not since the likes of Tie Domi have the Leafs and their fans been this excited about a tough guy.
Not since Brad Smith has their been a player so quick to acquire a cult following in this city.
What’s even more impressive is Martin's character off the ice.
Martin has taken on a real big brother like role, taking the rookies under his wing much like Brooks Laich last year. Aside from that, Martin is also the founder of the Matt Martin Hit Foundation. A Foundation fighting for Cystic Fibrosis martin has pledged to give an undisclosed amount for every hit this 2016-17 season.
Martin is an all around leader both on and off the ice . His heart and passion are unmatched a real team guy with his head on his shoulders. Everyone in Leafs Nation should expect this guy to be a Leaf long term.
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