Toronto Maple Leafs | Auston Matthews’ pace would allow him to score the most goals in 30 years

Max Domi positioned himself for a Washington faceoff, looked toward Alexander Ovechkin and thought, “Wow, he’s going to be the greatest scorer of all time.”

Then he looked in the direction of his Toronto Maple Leafs teammate Auston Matthews and realized that the latter could also be part of the discussion.

The faceoff came in the midst of another two-goal performance from Matthews, who leads the league with 58 goals this season. Reaching the 70-goal mark would require him to score one goal per game by the end of the season, which is not impossible. The American maintained a pace that would allow him to finish the season with 67 goals, which would be the highest total in nearly 30 years in the NHL.

“We have more things to worry about in this locker room,” Matthews said. Individual statistics, for sure you want to reach certain plateaus. You want to be the best player you can. This is what I try to do every evening. I’m going to keep doing it down the stretch and try to help the team win. »

Ovechkin holds the mark for the most goals in a season since the salary cap was introduced in 2005, with 65 goals scored in 2007-2008. It was after the implementation of new rules to open up the game, increase the number of numerical advantages and give more room to a generation full of talent like the Caps winger and the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby.

Matthews, Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) and Nathan McKinnon (Colorado Avalanche) succeeded Ovechkin and Crosby at center stage. Matthews (two years ago) and McDavid (three times) have already won the Hart Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s Most Valuable Player. McKinnon is one of the favorites to win this season.

Ovechkin, 47 behind Wayne Gretzky’s record of 848 goals, wants Matthews to surpass his 65 goals.


Alex Ovechkin

“I’m in his corner. I hope he scores more, maybe 70, he said last week. He’s a special player. It’s nice to watch him play. »

Matthews scored 60 goals in a season once. To think that he could reach 70 is not excluded. Some even believe that Ovechkin’s stay at the top of the all-time scoring charts — if he reaches it — could be short-lived. Matthews is ahead of him at the same point in his career, with 357 goals in his first 550 games. Ovechkin then had 338.

“It’s crazy to think that Alex could beat Wayne’s mark and Auston could breathe down his neck quickly,” Domi said. It’s special for guys like us to be able to play on the same ice as players like them. You have to appreciate your moments in the company of two giants of their time. »


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