Auston Matthews is heating up, which is great for the Leafs and not so great for everyone else

Published March 14, 2023 at 2:04 PM

At points this season, it seemed like Auston Matthews' production had essentially fallen off a cliff. After scoring 60 goals and 106 points in 73 games last season, Matthews currently sits at only 31 goals and 67 points in 59 games so far this season. The 25-year-old sniper is on pace for just 85 points this season if he produces at a similar rate to what he has through 59 games the rest of the way - still a pretty solid year, but nowhere near as good as last season.

While his struggles may seem concerning, it might actually shock you to learn that Matthews has gone more than 1 game without a point just twice all season long. The first stretch without a point was November 23rd-25th in games against New Jersey and Minnesota. The second stretch without a point came during a 3-game span from February 19th-24th against Chicago, Buffalo and Minnesota. Aside from those two gaps, Matthews has gone no more than 1 game without a point all season. That's pretty consistent.

The good news for the Leafs and the bad news for everyone else is that Matthews is really starting to heat up. He has recorded 10 points in his last 7 games, which includes 6 points over his last 3 games. He has also scored a goal in 3 straight games as well. His 1.43 points per game over this recent 7-game stretch is much higher than the 1.13 points per game he owns through his first 59 games this year. In other words, the beast may have finally woken.

If Matthews can product at a 1.43 points per game pace over the final 16 games, that will put him on pace to add 23 points to his current total, which would see his season end closer to the 90-point barrier. Still well below where he finished last year, but he's been a lot more physical and a lot more defensively responsible this year as well. The Leafs, as a team, have allowed fewer shots and less goals against than last season by a pretty wide margin. So, if he's scoring fewer goals/points, but the Leafs are also allowing less goals against, they're still a net positive. Also, if Matthews really is amping up his play on this home stretch, he could peak at just the right time, when the games begin to matter in the late spring/early summer.

March 14   |   190 answers
Auston Matthews is heating up, which is great for the Leafs and not so great for everyone else

Will Matthews break 90 points this season? (currently on pace for ~85)

Yes9348.9 %
No6936.3 %
Regular season doesn't matter2814.7 %
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