In Wednesday night’s game, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat their long-time Original Six rivals the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 4-1. No surprise, really; the schedule favored the Maple Leafs because the Canadiens were coming off a tough western-Canadian road trip. As a result of that win, the Maple Leafs officially clinched a playoff spot for the 2020-21 NHL season.
Auston Matthews Scores Another Goal
Also, no surprise, Auston Matthews scored yet another goal in Wednesday’s victory. The goal showed off two growing aspects of Matthews’ game – both his defense and his offense. To score that goal, Matthews deftly stripped the puck from skilled, young Canadiens’ forward Nick Suzuki in the Canadiens’ defensive zone and then absolutely tattooed the puck by Canadiens’ goalie Jake Allen so quickly that he no time to react.
The goal gave the Maple Leafs a quick 2-0 lead at the time and was eventually the game-winning goal. With the lead in the game, Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe rolled the lines and Matthews only skated for 17:33 of ice time.
Matthews Has Become the NHL’s Greatest Goal Scorer
The 23-year-old Matthews is absolutely leaving other great NHL players in the dust in his quest for this season’s Rocket Richard Trophy. He’s now in his fifth NHL season and he’s scored 35 goals and 24 assists (for 59 points) in 45 games on the season. During his five NHL seasons, he’s only scored less than 35 goals one time (in 2017-18), and he scored 34 goals that season.
Matthews has grown into the best goal-scorer in the game today, even taking over that reputation from the great Alex Ovechkin from the Washington Capitals. From what I can see, there’s no one close to him now or on the horizon. He’ll be the best probably for many seasons to come. No one will be able to come close to his ability over the next few years.
Joe Thornton Weighs in on Matthews’ Abilities
How good is Matthews? In the interview below, Joe Thornton weighs in on Matthews’ abilities.
Thornton spoke about a number of topics after the Canadiens’ game was in the books. First, he spoke about the Maple Leafs’ level of play and about the team’s clinching a playoff spot. Second, he was asked how he would look back at his career when his playing days are done. Third, he was asked about what he thought about Matthews’ skill level.
Thornton’s comments about Matthews come in about five seconds at the end of the short interview, and those are what I’ll concentrate on here. The question was about Matthews’ goal and the level of hand-eye coordination he needed to score it.
Then in five seconds of time, Thornton wrapped up Matthews as succinctly as anyone possibly could. Thornton noted that Matthews “is special. He has everything. I’ve said it time and time before: he’s powerful. He has the speed. He has the great shot. He’s very competitive. He’s just the complete package.”
That’s Auston Matthews to a tee – he’s the complete package!
/ 6 hours ago
After a Game 1 loss in which they allowed five goals, Joel Quenneville has...
/ 23 hours ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs are getting a few players into their lineup, while also...
/ 4 days ago
Reports are Adam Larsson is close on a three or four-year extension with the...
/ 5 days ago
TSN's Darren Dreger notes that Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie is likely to test...
/ 6 days ago
Kevyn Adams didn’t seem angry, but he did seem a bit annoyed that there...
/ 6 days ago
After John Davidson and Jeff Gorton were fired by New York Rangers owner David...
/ 1 week ago
The Edmonton Oilers are making ground on a four-year extension with defenseman Adam Larsson.
/ 1 week ago
As per reports by multiple sources, John Tortorella has agreed to leave the Columbus...
/ 2 weeks ago
George Parros says he doesn't want the gig as head of NHL Department of...