Matthews Hart Is Irrelevant Without Toronto Maple Leafs Success

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 21: Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs speaks after being awarded the Ted Lindsay Award for the most outstanding player during the 2022 NHL Awards at Armature Works on June 21, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 21: Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs speaks after being awarded the Ted Lindsay Award for the most outstanding player during the 2022 NHL Awards at Armature Works on June 21, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Winning the Hart Trophy and having the greatest individual season in Toronto Maple Leafs history is an incredible feat, but it doesn’t mean anything without playoff success.

The only thing that matters right now for the Toronto Maple Leafs is winning a playoff round. We’re not asking for a sweep, or even a Stanley Cup victory. We’re only asking for four wins in seven games and after another season, that wasn’t meant to be.

Scoring 60 goals and having 106 points in 73 games was a sight to see. From October through April, every time that Auston Matthews stepped on the ice, he was must-watch TV. However, as he’s done for the past six years, he didn’t help lead his team to a playoff round win.

Matthews is the greatest player in Leafs history and I don’t think anyone can argue that. He’s scoring at close to a goal-per game rate over the past two seasons and is electric to watch in the offensive zone, but backs it up in the defensive zone as well.

If he wasn’t on the team, the Leafs probably would have been a fringe playoff-team, so winning the MVP this season was justified and deserved.

However, when we look back at this season in 10 years, what will we remember?

Matthews Season is Lost on  Toronto Maple Leafs Failure

As much as we’ll remember the 60 goals and the fact that he broke the Leafs record for goals in a single-season and became the first Toronto player since the 1950s to win the MVP, we’ll remember this season for the team failure.

We’ll remember the Leafs holding a 3-2 lead in the third period of Game 6 with the opportunity to defeat their demons and losing in overtime. We’ll remember finally having a Game 7 at home, but knowing that the game was over before it started.

Matthews could have changed the narrative of this season and needed to put this team on his back, to get them over the hump.

The Edmonton Oilers didn’t even make the Stanley Cup Finals, but Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl still finished 1-2 in playoff scoring. They took a mediocre team and willed them the Conference Finals, which was exactly what Matthews needed to do.

This was his best playoff round statistically, as he scored four goals and had nine points in seven games, but that still wasn’t close to enough. We needed that huge goal in Game 6 or Game 7 to help Toronto to victory, but instead, he was shutdown once again.

Matthews is only 24-years-old and it’s to crazy to think about it, but he’s only going to get better.

It just took Nathan Mackinnon nine years to win a Stanley Cup and it took Alex Ovechkin 13 years to get his, so it’s not the end of the world that they haven’t won yet, but this season should have been more than individual success.

Maybe next year will be different, but maybe it’ll be the same.

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Either way, let’s hope the individual scoring still continues for Matthews, but next year it comes with a few playoff victories and maybe a ring.