Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews scored three goals on Wednesday. It is the second time Matthews has scored three or more goals on opening night. He scored four goals in his first-ever NHL game, back in 2016 against the Ottawa Senators.
The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night 6-5 in a shootout. Matthews’ third goal tied the game 5-5 late in the third period. Nothing got settled in overtime, and Mitch Marner won the game with a goal in the shootout.
Matthews’ first goal of the game was career goal number 300. He became the quickest to reach 300 goals in franchise history, hitting the milestone in game 482. He is also the tenth fastest to hit the milestone in NHL history. Matthews now has 302 goals and 243 assists for 545 points in 482 games. (Stats from hockey-reference.com)
A healthy Matthews could reach a few other milestones this season. His 500th game, 350th goal, and 600th point are all within reach. There is no denying his talent level. He is one of the best players in the game today. The 2023-24 season is his 8th season in the NHL, and it is off to a great start.
Toronto Maple Leafs Superstar Searching for Third Rocket Richard Trophy
Auston Matthews won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in back-to-back seasons in 2021 (41 goals) and 2022 (60 goals).
He did score 40 goals last season, but it wasn’t enough. 13 players finished ahead of him last season, but he had an injured hand for most of the season and couldn’t shoot properly.
To reclaim the Rocket, Matthews might need to register another 60-goal season. To do that, he will need to stay healthy. He’s had issues with injuries in the past, so it’s something to keep an eye on. The NHL hasn’t had a player score multiple 60-goal seasons since the mid-90s. It’s been over 20 years since a player has achieved the feat, but Matthews and McDavid are two players who could do it.
Matthews will continue his quest on Saturday, October 14th, when the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Minnesota Wild. The Wild will need to play well defensively to try and stop Matthews and the Leafs. The Leafs recorded 42 shots against the Canadiens and went 2/4 on the power play.
With the NHL’s second-best power play from last season already clicking and Matthews already having his scoring touch, things could get ugly for the Wild if they’re not careful.