3-time Stanley Cup champion makes very bold claim regarding Auston Matthews

Matt Garland
March 23, 2024  (9:19)

Auston Matthews
Photo credit: CBC Sports

Toronto Maple Leaf fans were given a treat on the schedule this week as they got to watch the two greatest active goal scorers battle it out during Toronto's 7-3 win over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.

Auston Matthews had a monster game, scoring two goals and five points to pad his lead on the Rocket Richard race with 57 goals on the season. His counterpart, Alex Ovechkin, got on the board in the losing effort with two goals in the game to make it 845 for his career.
Father time is beginning to show in 38-year-old Alex Ovechkin's game, with the sniper having a bit of a down year compared to previous seasons, but the Russian native is heating up at the right time of the season, scoring five goals in his last three games. With Ovechkin's recent goal streak, he is only 49 goals away from tying "The Great One", Wayne Gretzky's record total of 894, the most goals ever scored by a player in the NHL.
It was brought up during the broadcast of the Leafs vs Capitals game that Matthews is outpacing Ovechkin through their first 535 NHL games. Ovechkin scored an impressive 327 goals while his American counterpart has an astonishing 350 goals in his first 535 games.
With the way Matthews is scoring, there is no doubt that his name could be in the record books next to Ovechkin and Gretzky one day - perhaps ahead of both.
Three-time Stanley Cup Justin Williams agrees with this sentiment as shown in his recent interview with the Leafs Nation.
"He's gonna be there. I don't think there's any doubt he's gonna be there. It seems like all the great goalscorers have a specific way of scoring. Like Ovi has perfected the one-timer and Auston Matthews has perfected the curl and drag snap shot release. It's just something different, everybody tries to replicate it but nobody can really duplicate it.

He's on pace for those same numbers and does it year over year. Auston is a very humble, matter of fact, focused guy and I can't see him slowing down. Right now I'm sure he's going about his business scoring his goals, It's a conversation that we're really going to have in the years to come. He's going to be one of the greatest goal scorers of all-time."

Matthews is well on his way to being the greatest Leaf ever and if he can keep up his goal scoring pace, he will be in the conversation with Gretzky and Ovechkin. Imagine before all is said and done and his career is winding down. If he could do this while remaining in the hockey mecca that is Toronto for his whole career, the media coverage of the race will be next level.
23 MARS   |   392 ANSWERS
3-time Stanley Cup champion makes very bold claim regarding Auston Matthews

By the end of Matthews' NHL career, who will have the record for most goals ever scored in the NHL?

Wayne Gretzky7118.1 %
Alex Ovechkin9223.5 %
Auston Matthews22958.4 %
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