Auston Matthews is simply an amazing hockey player.
Matthews has significantly impacted the Toronto Maple Leafs since he first laced up his skates with the team. His impressive goal-scoring and overall skill as a player have played a key role in the team’s success in recent years. They help make the Maple Leafs one of the most exciting NHL teams.
In addition, Matthews’ presence on the team has helped to revitalize a franchise that had been struggling for many years. As a young and talented player, Matthews’ emergence jump-started Maple Leafs’ success.
Now, Maple Leafs’ fans have to hope he will continue to be a central part of the Maple Leafs’ success for many years to come.
Since Matthews Joined the Team: What a Change!
In the seven seasons before Matthews, the Maple Leafs’ record was 225-248-57. Their average overall finish was 24th place, and that was bolstered by a ninth-place finish in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.
In the seven seasons since Matthews arrived, the Maple Leafs’ record has been 292-163-61. Their average overall finish has been fifth place.
Even with this season incomplete and COVID-19 shortened, they’ve won 67 more games. The team’s average overall finish in those five seasons has improved by almost 20 places.
The numbers show how significant the Maple Leafs’ turnaround has been since Auston Matthews joined the team. The team has a considerably higher winning percentage and has finished higher in the standings on average than in previous seasons.
Blame that success on Matthews. As much as anyone, the improvement in the team’s fortunes can be traced to Matthews’ impact. His play has elevated his teammates.
While individual players cannot win games alone, Matthews has certainly played a vital role in the Maple Leafs’ success in recent years. He’s the team’s swagger.
How Does Matthews Compare to Other Current NHL Greats?
There’s no question that Matthews has been the best player on the Maple Leafs over the past seven seasons. The Maple Leafs have turned the franchise around with Matthews as its centrepiece.
While Matthews has been an exceptional goal scorer in his short career so far, he still has a long way to go to match the NHL’s all-time greats like Ovechkin, Gretzky, Howe, and Jagr. Ovechkin is considered by many to be the best goal scorer in NHL history and has scored 812 goals in his career. That’s well ahead of Matthews’ current total of 284 goals.
Still, If Matthews Stays Healthy, Watch Out
Matthews will need to maintain his high level of play over a long period and continue to score at a high rate to have a chance to compete with the all-time greats in goal scoring.
If he stays with the Maple Leafs, Matthews will continue to impact the history of the Maple Leafs significantly. There’s a good chance that, when the ice has melted on Matthews’ career, he’ll go down as the best player ever to don the Blue and White uniform of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Time to Appreciate This Young Star for Helping Make Hockey Exciting
Every once in a while, it’s good to sit and ponder Matthews’ impact on the team’s past, present, and future. How can Maple Leafs’ fans not be impressed with his goal-scoring abilities at such a young age?
There’s a lot to be excited about over the next few seasons in Toronto.
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