Auston Matthews Looking to Make History With 70th Goal of the Season

Toronto Maple Leafs v New Jersey Devils
Toronto Maple Leafs v New Jersey Devils / Elsa/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs have played 79 games and all but assured themselves of starting on the road against the Florida Panthers in round one.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have three games left - Detroit tonight, then Florida and Tampa next week as the season winds down.

Tampa can still pass the Leafs, but one point lost by Tampa or gained by the Leafs would put an end to that. At this point it's essentially a mathematical possibility only.

The Leaf are in a similar situatin for catching Florida - they are at 106 points right now, and the most the Leafs can get to is 107. One point lost by the Leafs or gained by the Panthers puts an end to the Leafs home-ice dreams.

As for Detoit, they are still trying to make the playoffs - they are tied with Washington and the Flyers, and are one point back of Pittsburgh. The Leafs can all but end them tonight, which would be fun since they elminated New Jersey earlier in the week.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red Wings

There is exactly one reason to watch tonight's game, and it's a good one.

Auston Matthews - the should-be unanimous 2024 Hart Trophy winner - has 68 goals and needs only two more to hit the magical number of 70.

If he does it tonight, he might sit out the next two games, which, while it wouldn't be good for my hockey pool playoffs, is the ideal real-life situatin. The Leafs play their final six games over ten nights, so resting their best player would be nice.

Timothy Liljegren will be making his return to the lineup tonight, while Joel Edmundson is back out with an injury. Max Domi, who was injured, is apperarently not injured too badly and will play.

Detroit will start James "the hypocrite" Reimer, while the Leafs will go with Ilya Samsonov.

In other intersting Toronto Maple Leafs news, the team announced that Matt Murray is healthy and will go to the Marlies on a conditioning stint, giving the Leafs four NHL goalies on their roster, and maybe even giving some creedence to those 2016-17 Penguins comparisons.


They also announced the signing of Caden Weber, a prospect they traded for at the NHL Trade Deadline. This is the last Hockey Night in Canada of the year, and it promises to be a good one, with Auston Matthews perhaps scoring his 70th goal of the year, which is absolutely crazy.