“Shooters shoot.” – Austin Matthews
Toronto – It’s not crazy that he made history.
The crazy thing is how it happened and how long they had to wait for it to happen.
The Austin Matthews 50 goal watch clock started ticking that night in his NHL career, when the Arizona teenager hit the Ottawa senators with four. Rookie finished with 40 that season, and his lighting speed wasn’t that slow.
Injury limited the franchise center to 34 in 2017-18 and 37 in 2018-19, but he was on 45 runs in each of those promotions.
Matthews’ skills for the Nets went hyperdrive for the Nets in 2019-20 and 2020-21, but the global epidemic stopped him at 47 and 41 in those great seasons – although he is tracking 55 and 65 in more than 82 games, respectively.
The big 5-0 is about to happen sooner or later, unless a black hole sucks up the Scotiabank Arena. It felt inevitable.
Or, as William Nylander put it this week: “She’s cool. We all know she’ll get 50. No worries.”
What we didn’t know was how Matthews would do it.
The Toronto Maple Leafs crawled back from a 0-2 and 3-2 deficit against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday – and a thick piece of revenge – Nylander (three points for a career-best 64), Ilya Mikhiyev (three points), the Toronto NHL pioneer. Including the 11th shorthand strike, and Mark Giordano (first goal for his childhood team) were all among the memorable games.
Yet the player received the most votes for scoring by his peers who ultimately failed to rise to the board during the 7-3 victory.
It wasn’t for not trying.
Knowing a four-game road trip was off, Mathews fired a game-high six shots into the net and made seven more attempts.
Periodically “Fif-tie!” And we! Want! Fifty! ” The frosting part of the house is swollen.
“Oh, yes,” said Giordano. “Every time he got twisted, there was a buzz. Especially in power-play and zone. He had some really good looks.”
The game was basically over, but desperate jets pulled Eric Comri for extra skaters, when you could witness something like this when Matthews wasn’t done at the negative three-year-old why hit the traffic?
After David Campf hit the post on an empty net, there was an air of certainty about who would finish the job. The same guy that won the 2021 Rocket Richard Trophy without a single empty-net goal.
“I don’t know if I really imagined it to be an empty goal, but I’ll take it,” Matthews smiled on stage.
As he entered the dressing room, he was soaking wet from the water bottles that his teammates had thrown at him.
“It’s great. Just love and support from all these people. We’ve got a very close team, and it certainly wouldn’t have happened without all these people on this team,” Matthews said.
“Here, it’s really special to do it in front of all the fans. The energy and the atmosphere and everything that goes into it makes it a lot of fun.”
As fans poured ice with caps and gifted T-shirts for goals without a hat-trick, Mathews’ coaches and teammates soaked it.
For Giordano, he thought of Jerome Eignler’s 50-goal run in Calgary.
For Nylander, he shook all the way back from childhood.
“Pretty unreal. It actually reminded me of when I was younger, and my dad [Michael] Washington was playing. Ovi made 50 runs in one night when I was there. That was where he was at night [hot stick celebration]. It brings back some memories, and, I mean, it’s incredible. “
For coach Sheldon Keefe, who regularly promotes the team over everything, it was important to stop and recognize the person.
“I thought fans would love to see that moment for Austin and for Austin to perform it on the ice of the house,” Keefe said. “A very special thing. I mean, it’s been a long time since a Leaf 50 was scored.”
Not since Dave Andrechuk in 1993-94.
Rick Viv, who topped the leaderboards with 54 in 1981-82, did it three times.
Gary Lyman scored 51 in 1989-90.
And that’s it. A club of four members.
No one else has achieved as fast a feat as Matthews, who needed just 62 games. His 91 goals in 114 games since the start of 2020-21 have dwarfed his closest threat; Edmonton’s Leon Dresital has 80 in 124 games.
“It simply came to our notice then How He’s been able to do that, ”says Morgan Riley.“ He was incredibly consistent for us. He shows up every night, playing very well on both ends of the puck. The way he has been able to score goals from near the net, from a distance, whatever it is, is very impressive. “
“Fifty goals is a huge measure,” added Wayne Symonds, a 1,000-gamer who topped the 32nd. “And the way you see a guy play, not just offensively, defensively, it takes your breath away every night.”
On the night of Matthews’ historic four-goal debut, Maple Leafs lost in overtime. Mathews, in his postgame interview, lamented his defensive efforts towards the winner.
He definitely enjoyed scoring goals. Shooters shoot, don’t they? But he wanted to win.
So, tonight, with the dial crank on the AM50, it said what the 38-year-old Giordano wanted to say about Leafs’ youngest forward after spending four games at his company.
“His shot, his release, it’s pretty impressive,” Giordano began.
“I’ve been fascinated to see him play defensively since I came here, to be honest. The way he backchecked and played to his end is unrealistic.”
As much as he soaked the moment, Matthews reduced his place in the record book.
Would he allow himself to think about his place in maple leaf science the night he scored the fastest 50?
“Maybe when I finish the game, I can think of those things,” Mathews replied.
“I have a job right now, and it’s not over yet.”
Fox Fast 5
It is good to see the detailed attention of 6 John Towers. As he celebrates Giordano’s first goal as a maple leaf, he presents it to the official so that he can restore the milestone puck for his teammates.
Cha Betcha 36 bucks Jack Campbell starts Saturday in Philadelphia.
ক Blake Wheeler did this with Giordano, formerly known as Maple Leaf:
গোল Three goal-scorers – Wheeler, Giordano and Paul Stastny – the first time is good for the older boys with NHL’s shrinking 35 and Older Club members.
Giordano has become the oldest defender to score for Leifs in 52 years. (Tim Horton, 40, scored in his final in 1970… and has never done anything significant since.)
Eighteen goals for Stastney, 36, the most in a single season for him since 2015-16.
• Night quote:
“Perhaps the best game of the day was hitting David Camp’s post.” -Sheldon Kiev