Toronto Maple Leafs: Auston Matthews’ dominance reaching new levels

Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs makes a pass. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs makes a pass. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Vancouver Canucks are certainly going to be happy that they won’t have to deal with Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs for a while.

Unfortunately for the rest of the North Division, Matthews has been scoring at a pace that should have everyone on notice. With goals in eight consecutive games and points in 10 straight, Matthews is showing that the best is yet to come when it comes to his potential.

If Matthews is able to keep his streak going, he would put himself in elite company.

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It’s no secret that the spotlight on Matthews rightfully has him in the Hart Trophy conversation. Goalscorers have the tendency to go through slumps but Matthews’ game is more than just about his offensive ability.

Sure, Sheldon Keefe has made it a point to get Matthews more offensive zone starts but the 23-year-old is still being asked to do his part defensively. Last season, Matthews got recognized for his work in his own zone finishing 16th in voting for the Selke Trophy.

Matthews still has a way to go to prove he’s worthy of contending for the Hart considering Connor McDavid continues to carry the Edmonton Oilers. However, Matthews is showing that if he is going to earn the MVP nod, it’ll be for his well-rounded game and not just his goalscoring.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Auston Matthews path to winning Hart Trophy

What will give Matthews his best chance to overcome McDavid and Leon Draisaitl is if the Oilers don’t make the playoffs which certainly seems like a possibility. Looking around the league, it’ll be hard to find any player who will come close either.

Nathan MacKinnon’s injury might take him out of the running unless he comes back in a big way. One player who can get himself into the conversation is David Pastrnak who has been a force in his return from injury.

It’s certainly no slam dunk for Matthews but this might be his best opportunity to stake his claim for the Hart Trophy. As the only player with over 10 goals so far this season, it’ll be interesting to see how far this scoring surge can last.

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Do you see Matthews being in contention for the Hart Trophy? How many goals do you see him scoring? Let us know in the comments below.