Rick Vaive comments on Matthews tying his 40-year-old Leafs goal scoring record

Published April 5, 2022 at 6:58 PM
BY BEN HODGSON
When Rick Vaive scored his 48th goal of the 1982 NHL season, Frank Mahovlich was in the building to congratulate the Leafs legend on breaking his franchise goal scoring record. 40 years later, Vaive wants to do the same.

Auston Matthews wrote his name in the record books with authority Monday night, scoring a hat trick against the 2-time defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning to tie Vaive's record of 54 goals in a season. Matthews' 3 goals helped lead the Leafs to a convincing 6-2 win over the Bolts

Vaive, in an interview with the Toronto Sun's Lance Hornby, says he is ready to hand off the record to Matthews.

"I held the record 40 years, a long time. And watching Matthews this year, you knew it was inevitable. That game was a lot of fun. He's a generational player."


- Vaive on passing the torch to the next generation of elite goal scoring for the storied franchise

Vaive also wants to see this group of Leafs finally shake off their playoff demons and go on a run in the post season and thinks Matthews will be the key to their success.

"You certainly hope so. I've been so impressed with the way he's evolved from his early years, impressed with his shooting ability and defensive play. I don't think I got any Selke consideration."

- Vaive on Matthews' overall play giving the Leafs a good chance to succeed in the playoffs

Its unlikely Vaive will be in the building when Matthews pots goal number 55 as the Leafs are on the road against the Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars before returning home, but Vaive will be in the building for Saturday night's game against the Montreal Canadiens to shake Matthews' hand regardless.

With any luck, Matthews will have already set the new record by that time. There is a chance for Matthews to hit goal #60 by the end of that game if he plays anything like he did against Tampa. He would need 2 goals in each of his next 3 games to be the first Leaf in franchise history to join the 60 goal club. If your name is Auston Matthews, nothing is out of reach right now when it comes to goal scoring.

Source: Toronto Sun
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