The two young Maple Leafs stars guest starred in the National Ballet of Canada's annual production of "The Nutcracker" in Toronto. The forward duo suited up as Cannon Dolls for the show on Wednesday, delivering an animated and elegant performance as they helped fire off a cannon on stage.
As you may notice, Matthews and Marner donned some bold, colorful costumes to play the part. The Russian Petrushka doll outfit is quite the switch from their normal hockey uniforms, and Matthews was honest about his level of nervousness heading into the performance.
"I couldn't sleep last night," Matthews admitted at practice on Wednesday. "It should be fun. I hope they don't make us do too much stuff, but I'm excited. It should be an interesting experience."
"I don't want to ruin the play," he said. "Everybody keeps telling me how big a deal this is. It's the National Ballet and it's sold out. It's like a big thing."
But when it came time to suit up, they seemed to be rather comfortable.
The National Ballet has made a tradition out of asking celebrities to guest star in the roles of the Cannon Dolls. Given the success of the Maple Leafs this year (and the success of Matthews and Marner, individually) it seemed like a pretty good fit to have the hockey stars step in.
A number of their Leafs teammates were on hand for the performance, with many of them unabashedly eager to poke fun at the youngsters afterward.
"I think they'll be outstanding," said Leafs coach Mike Babcock before the show. "So they'll have a good laugh. And then we'll have a good laugh at it."
The laughs may be temporary, but stage glory lasts forever. As do these photos: