There was a lot of anticipation surrounding Auston Matthews chase for his first 50 goal season as he got the job done in a big win over the Winnipeg Jets.
It has been a while since the Toronto Maple Leafs had a player reach 50 goals in a season and really if you look at Auston Matthews career, he should have reached the milestone a few times.
The Leafs franchise centre had many chances to pot his 50th of the season against the Winnipeg Jets but finally got the job done with an empty-net goal. It might not have been the way Matthews drew it up but every goal counts the same even though he has shown that he isn’t a one-trick pony.
When Matthews scored 40 goals in his rookie season, it was only a matter of time before we would see him pass the 50 goal mark. Really this milestone should have been reached a couple of years ago but injuries and the pandemic took that away.
The real challenge for Matthews is if he can continue this pace of scoring and reach 60 goals. He has 15 games left to score 10 goals which based on his current pace isn’t out of the question at all.
Toronto has some tough opponents down the stretch but also some matchups that Matthews can take advantage of like the Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings and the Buffalo Sabres.
Toronto Maple Leafs don’t let up against the Winnipeg Jets
Seeing the Leafs go down 2-0 in the first period in what could be described as an uninspiring start against the Jets wasn’t ideal.
The way the team responded and didn’t provide Winnipeg a chance to get back into the game was something many have been waiting to see from Toronto. Against the Boston Bruins, the Leafs were up 6-2 going into the third period but allowed their opponent to think they had an opening to make a comeback.
Granted, the Leafs were down to four defenceman in that game but this was a problem many times before. This is why their victory over the Jets was promising considering the style of play Winnipeg is known for.
The Leafs certainly have more work to do when it comes to winning more of these games and they’ll have some important ones down the stretch.
How exciting was it to watch Matthews score 50 goals? Do you think 60 is still possible? Let us know in the comments below.