Matthews scored 2 goals as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on October 3, 2018.
Toronto Maple Leafs star centre Auston Matthews has started every NHL season he’s played with a multi-point game.
Matthews now has nine points in three career NHL season openers.
I’ve already wrote about how I believe Matthews will benefit from having Tavares on the team; we are seeing the results of that already.
Teams don’t know whether to cover Matthews or Tavares with their best defenders (and defensive forwards) and it results in mismatches and bad penalties (the Leafs drew several penalties tonight and managed to convert on their first attempt).
Kadri generated two assists, Tavares scored one goal.
Speaking of star centres who play for the Toronto Maple Leafs; Kadri and Tavares combined for three points.
Alongside Matthews, Kadri is the other of the two Leafs who started the 2018/19 season with a multi-point game.
Kadri had two assists.
He assisted on both Matthews’ goal to tie the game in the first and Tavares’ goal to briefly take the lead in the second.
Tavares proved his value to the Toronto Maple Leafs early by netting his first goal as a Leaf in his first game ever (I bet he’ll save that puck in his trophy cabinet).
Kadri, Tavares, and Matthews are going to give opposing coaches nightmares.
That trio combined for three goals and two assists in their first game of the season; and they haven’t even settled in with their new line mates yet.
Moreover, Nylander isn’t on Matthews’ wing to feed him top tier passes (yet).
Put differently, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated their arch rivals and they weren’t playing at peak potential while they won.
Frederik Andersen outplayed Carey Price
Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen stopped 34 of 36 shots; posting a sparkling .944 save percentage. He was basically the only reason they won the game.
After allowing the first goal of the game and a game tying goal late in the second, Andersen shut the door after that.
Nothing else got by him as the Leafs rode off into the sunset with a victory despite being out shot 36-26.
Price posted a save percentage of .885 (which is unexpectedly low for him). Perhaps Montreal should have claimed Pickard or McElhinney from waivers.
Carey only stopped 23 of 26 shots. The Habs lost 3-2 in overtime.
At age 31 (only about 4 years young than Big Mac), Carey Price is on the books for 8 years at the exorbitantly high cap hit of $10,500,000 AAV.
Yes, that’s correct. Price is locked up till age 38; with a no movement clause. All while commanding a salary somewhere between what Matthews and Marner are expected to be paid through their prime when they sign their long term deals next season. So far it’s not looking like a great deal.
The Canadiens may find themselves perpetually scraping the bottom of the barrel in the Atlantic division for the foreseeable future because one of their stars held out for as much money as he could. Then again, there’s more than one terrible move you could criticize their general manager for.
The Toronto Maple Leafs won their season opener, and Auston Matthews certainly enjoys the spotlight of the first game of the season.
Thanks for reading!