Sheldon Keefe jokes about Thursday's unsung hero for allowing Matthews to hit 50

Published April 1, 2022 at 10:56
BY MIKE ARMENTI
It was a banner night for the Leafs on Thursday, as they not only did they skate away with a big two points in the standings, but they also got some retribution on the Winnipeg Jets for a chaotic 6-3 loss on December 5th.

There were a lot of positives to take away from Thursday's win, including the fact that, despite surrendering an early 2-0 lead, the Leafs made the adjustments they needed to make, put the pedal to the floor and took over the game, storming back to a 7-3 victory.

Among the other noteworthy stories of the game, rookie Erik Kallgren posted his fourth win of the season, the Leafs went 3-for-6 on the power play and, of course, superstar center Auston Matthews scored his 50th goal of the season on an empty-netter from the centre ice area to put the game out of reach.

Moments before Matthews notched number 50 on the season, David Kampf had an opportunity to seal the deal, flipping a contested puck at the empty net, but rolling it off the post. After the game, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe joked about Kampf's miss being the play of the game for the Buds.


"Maybe the best play of the day is David Kampf hitting that post to keep the goalie out."

- Sheldon Keefe on Kampf's miss opening the door for Matthews to hit 50 goals on Thursday

With his 50th, Matthews became the first Leaf since Dave Andreychuk in 1993-94 to score 50 goals in a season. He's also just the fourth Leaf of all-time to hit the mark, and the first Leafs center to ever accomplish the feat.

With 15 games remaining, Rick Vaive's 54-goal Leafs record is well within reach for Matthews. In addition, the 24-year-old can also become the first Leaf in history to ever record 60 goals in a single season and the first player since Tampa's Steven Stamkos in 2011-12 to reach the mark.

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