Feb 13th Could Be Special Night for Auston Matthews

New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

If you're seeking pivotal dates in the Toronto Maple Leafs season, look no further than February 13th, 2024, when they face off against the St. Louis Blues.

Why is this particular game crucial for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Well, it marks Game 50 on the team's schedule and could prove to be a monumental night for Auston Matthews, who aspires to become the sixth player in NHL history to score 50 goals in 50 games.

In Matthews' initial 38 games, he has netted an impressive 33 goals, securing his position as the NHL's leader in multi-goal games since joining the league, boasting an impressive 70 multi-goal games. Given this remarkable track record, there's every reason to believe he can't continue at a pace to achieve the coveted goal-per-game milestone.

Unfortunately, Matthews has gone scoreless in each of his last two games, which puts him at 33 in 40, and means he's going to need 17 his next ten.

That could seem like a stretch, but if he goes off in the next couple of games, it won't be.

Matthews Has Already Accomplished 50 Goals in 50 Games

One might argue that predicting such an extraordinary goal-scoring feat in such a short timeframe is audacious. However, Matthews has consistently demonstrated his prowess, quickly establishing himself as the NHL's premier goal-scorer since entering the league. Despite a somewhat underwhelming performance last year, where he finished with 40 goals, Matthews' goal-scoring abilities remain unparalleled.

When Matthews won the Hart Trophy two years ago, he scored 50 in 50, he just didn't do it from the start of the season. It still counts.

Consider this: if a player like Tyler Bertuzzi were to score 40 goals in a season with the Leafs, fans would be clamoring for an eight-year extension worth $8 million AAV. For Matthews, this is business as usual. Every time he hits the ice, the possibility of him finding the back of the net is almost expected.

Furthermore, what sets Matthews apart from even the likes of the legendary Alex Ovechkin is his ability to score from virtually anywhere on the ice and in any situation. His exceptional patience in front of the net, coupled with his capacity to maneuver his stick to disguise the puck's release point, renders him virtually unstoppable.

While Matthews' exact thoughts on the matter remain unknown, it's reasonable to assume he recognizes the significance of achieving 50 goals in 50 games. Joining the ranks of Maurice Richard, Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Brett Hull in this exclusive club would undoubtedly be a point of pride for him.

Where Matthewsd to score 50 in the first 50 games of a season, he woudl achieve a feat not realized since 1992. Matthews has a genuine opportunity to etch his name in history.

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In conclusion, regardless of the game's outcome, savor every moment of Leafs action because watching Auston Matthews is not just a pastime; it's a privilege.