The Toronto Maple Leafs have been around for over 100 years, and in that time, no player has ever scored more than 54 goals in a season.
That is until last night, at approximately 9:30 PM EST, when Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews scored his 55th goal of the season.
He would later take the game into his own hands and score the game winner on a beautiful solo effort that was perhaps his best goal of the season – it certainly was one of the greatest moments in franchise history.
After scoring four goals in his first game, Matthews is now the single season record holder for goals in a season by a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He also currently has 49 goals in his last 49 games , an incredible accomplishment that all but assures him the Hart Trophy at season’s end.
Matthew’s played his 400th career game last night, and scored his 255th career goal, which ranks him ninth, somehow, in Leafs history. He should pass Wendel Clark – a Leafs Legend – with 200 or so games to spare.
No one has scored 50 goals in 50 games since Mario Lemieux in the 1995 season, which means that Alex Ovechkin never even did it. Consider that, by era adjusted scoring, Ovechkin’s 65 goal season in 07-08 is the second best season of all-time, and that should give you an idea of the kid of season Matthews is having.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Dallas
It wasn’t all about Auston last night in Dallas – the Leafs won their sixth game out of seven (having gotten at least a point in seven straight) and pulled five points ahead of both Boston and Tampa.
This game nearly joined the likes of both Arizona games, the recent Canadiens game and a few others this year as games where the Leafs completely dominated and got goalied.
The Leafs appeared to be toying with an AHL team for most of the night, and Dallas got a couple of lucky goals to prevent a blow out.
Of note: Mark Giordano was paired with Justin Holl while Timothy Liljegren was given the night off. Gio and Holl were the only Leafs pair under 50% Corsi/Expected Goals, and it was obvious that they are way too slow to be a pairing.
On the other hand, Giordano looked like a Norris Trophy defenseman while paired with the Leafs young star, so I am doubting you’re going to see much more of this lineup.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are now fourth overall, two points back of Carolina and six back of Florida.