Why It's Good That Auston Matthews Failed to Hit 70 + Leafs Lose 4th in a Row

Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers
Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

While the Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the best teams in the NHL during the season's second half, they will enter the playoffs on a four-game losing streak.

Honestly, I'm not sure how concerning this is for the Toronto Maple Leafs and their playoff prospects- on one hand, they were resting players, pre-occupied with the pursuit of Matthews 70th goal, and the games haven't mattered for a while.

On the other, you never want to limp into the post-season with a losing streak. You want to head into the playoffs at the top of your game, riding high with full confidence.

Of course, no one ever remembers how the regular season finishes up, so it probably doesn't matter.....but still, I don't love it. Maybe if these guys had ever shown any inkling of being able to turn it on when it counts....

Toronto Maple Leafs Lose to Tampa, Play Bruins on Saturday

Last night's game was the worst, but of course we had to watch because hitting 70 goal seemed so much more important because we are so conditioned to love those round numbers.

Realistically, there's no difference - Matthews, when you account for how hard it is to score goals in today's game vs the 80s and early 90s, just had one of the best seasons of all-time.

Sure, he won't win the Hart Trophy since he plays for the Maple Leafs and it seems pre-determined that it's Nathan MacKinnon's turn to win, but Matthews deserves it.

Not only did the Leafs lose, and not only did Matthews fail to hit 70, but William Nylander also failed to hit 100 points, which would have been cool. Like Marner before him, he just couldn't buy a point once he got close.

Once Matthews hit 69 goals, he took 24 shots without scoring. In last year's playoff series against the Florida Panthers, Auston Matthews took 26 shots without scoring.

That means that a guy who scores routinely on 15% of his shots, and who is unquestionably the best goal scorer alive in the world today, hasn't scored a goal in 50 straight shots if you count from the last time he scored a regular season goal or a playoff goal and add them together.

I'm not 100% sure that this is how math works, but I'll take any bet on the Leafs when Matthews is this overdue for a goal. Him failing to score last night might actually be a good thing.

Any time Auston Matthews goes 50 (arbitrary, it must be admitted) shots in a row without a goal, you can bet about six goals are gonna drop at any time. That is why I say Leafs in 4.


Either way, while the season could have had a better finish (and start, and middle) the Leafs are a team that hasn't cared about the regular season for a while now. Now the real season starts.

I can't wait.