Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews addressing the media.
Photo credit: NHL

Auston Matthews shows tremendous growth, leadership during post-game comments

Published January 25, 2024 at 4:00 PM

Well, it wasn't pretty, but last night the Leafs secured a win against one of the best teams in the league. The team didn't play very well, aside from the likes of Ilya Samsonov and Nicholas Robertson. The team's core may have suited up for the game, but with how they played, they may as well have just taken the night off.

Franchise cornerstone Auston Matthews was not too proud to admit that his team and his powerplay unit played poorly last night when he addressed the media. He even took full responsibility for a play that should have never happened.

"We've just got to be better in those situations. That's on us as a PP. We've got to be better. We will be better. I don't know, honestly. I gotta watch it back. But, like I said, it's something that just can't happen... but pretty incredible two saves [by Samsonov] to keep it a 0-0 game. Unbelievable. I thought he was the best player on the ice for us by far. I can't say enough good things about him and just the way he played tonight was incredible." said Matthews, referring to the 2-on-0 breakaway the team allowed while on the power play.

In most games, on a chance like that, the puck get buried in the back of the net. The Leafs were very fortunate that Ilya Samsonov came to play last night and was one of the few who did while bailing out his team numerous times throughout the game. He was praised by many following the win, especially Matthews.

Matthews wasn't the only one who addressed the costly mistake last night as Mitch Marner also had a few words for the media on the play.

"Unacceptable. But thank God for Number 35... [We were] out too long. Just kind of a miscommunication. We take ownership of that. It's unacceptable & thank God for [Samsonov] in there." - Marner on Ilya Samsonov saving the team's bacon

The Leafs aren't going to be able to rely on their goaltender that much every night, so they'll have to go over the game tape to isolate the issues and make the necessary adjustments. In the meantime, I suppose it means something that the top players are taking ownership and holding themselves accountable.
January 25   |   586 answers
Auston Matthews shows tremendous growth, leadership during post-game comments

Should Sheldon Keefe break up the top powerplay unit?

Yes, this has gone on too long!38665.9 %
No, let them figure it out.20034.1 %
Latest 10 stories