Auston Matthews Scores 60th + Leafs Dress Worst Blue-Line in NHL History

Mar 30, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) reacts after
Mar 30, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) reacts after / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres last night - in Buffalo, for once.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were terrible and only won the game because Ilya Samsonov had a shut-out. He was the difference for the Leafs after watching Joseph Woll start the last three games (and not that successfully either).

One good thing for the Leafs was the 60th goal by Auston Matthews, who is just incredible. More on that in a bit.

Another good thing was another goal from Nick Robertson. He barely plays, but he has 3 goals in his last 8 games - that's a 30 goal pace for a guy who doesn't get on the power-play. Overall he has scored 11 goals in 49 games which is a 20 goal pace.

When you consider how little he play, and that 10 of his 11 goals were scored at 5v5, it is even more impressive. Robertson has scored at a rate of 2.1 points/60 minutes of 5v5 ice-time, which is solid first-line production. His 1.17 goals/60 is 4th on the Leafs and 25th in the NHL among players who've skated 500 minutes. (

But about that blue-line...

Toronto Maple Leafs Win Despite Dressing Worst Blue-Line in NHL History

The Toronto Maple Leafs dressed Jake McCabe, TJ Brodie, Ilya Lyubushkin, Mark Giordano, Simon Benoit and Conor TImmins for last night's game.

For those counting, that is one out of six defensemen the Leafs dressed last night that they have not healthy-scratched this season.

If healthy, the Leafs depth chart is something like Rielly-McCabe-Liljegren-Brodie-Edmundson-Lyubushkin-Benoit-Giordano-Timmins.

Last night they had their 7,8 and 9 in the lineup. And they won. With a shut-out.

It's hilarious because a healthy Leafs top-six is among the worst of any playoff team (probably the worst if we're being honest) and what they dressed last night is probably one of the worst blue-lines any non-expansion team has ever won a game with.

So yeah, Buffalo probably should have won last night - and they were the better team - but they didn't. Samsonov was spectacular and Auston Matthews was in the lineup, and that alone gives the Leafs a chance to win on any given. night.

What Matthews is doing is just crazy. None of McDavid, Ovechkin, Pastrnak or Stamkos have 2 x 60 goals seasons. And he did it while playing significant minutes with some of the worst puck-movers in the NHL (Brodie, Benoit).


As for this team, it's hard to know what to think. Auston Matthews + an OK Goalie gives you a chance to win every single game, so a Cup is possible. Then again, we're talking about a team with Joel Edmundson and TJ Brodie in it's optimal lineup.