The Toronto Maple Leafs might have lost in a shootout to the Winnipeg Jets last night, but they played one heck of a game.
Do we have to mention that Auston Matthews was once again brilliant and on the ice at key moments to help his team get the extra point?
It’s easy to believe that Matthews would have been left on the bench in the last moments of the game if he was still been run by Mike Babcock. Dimitri Filipovic of Yahoo and ESPN explained it most accurately in a few tweets on Thursday, pointing out that “Matthews’ usage under Babcock was absolutely bewildering in the moment as it was happening. Seeing him completely go off like this under Sheldon Keefe makes it more inexplicable in hindsight.”
Then he posted the numbers, and they just speak for themselves.
Matthews scored his 30th goal to make it four straight seasons with 30+ goals. He posted 31 actually, as he shot a one-timer to tie the game in the dying seconds of the third. Matthews became the sixth Leaf to record four consecutive 30-goal seasons (Mats Sundin did it two separate times) – and first player in franchise history to open his career with four consecutive 30-goal seasons.
Good thing he was on the ice to make it happen!