Maple Leafs franchise cornerstone Auston Matthews
Photo credit: RON CHENOY-USA TODAY SPORTS

Auston Matthews has words with official after his 10-minute misconduct

Published March 31, 2024 at 12:37
BY MIKE ARMENTI

Last night's meeting between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres was a wild affair, with the Leafs coming into KeyBank Center with purpose and poise, looking to accomplish their goal of leaving with 2 points. Not only did they do just that, but Auston Matthews and Ilya Samsonov put forth strong performances, with Matthews securing his 60th goal of the season and Samsonov playing his way to a 34-save shutout.

With the Sabres losing 3-0 on home ice, things got a bit unruly in the late stages of the 3rd period, leading to all 10 players on the ice locking horns for a post-whistle skirmish that the officials had a hard time containing. While most players on the ice traded shoves, putting guys in headlocks or exchanging a few punches, Auston Matthews was content just to grab a body and keep things even out there, while players like Mark Giordano, Tyler Bertuzzi and Alex Tuch wanted a piece of anyone they could get their hands on.


As the officials finally got things under control, they made the decision to eject all 5 guys from both teams, issuing each of them a 10-minute misconduct. This was something that Matthews didn't seem too fond of, as he didn't feel like he deserved to be tossed from the game after not throwing so much as a single punch. Before leaving the ice surface, Matthews made sure to skate by the official to vent his frustration.



Matthews had no intention of fighting anyone on the ice, nor did he do anything to warrant a 10-minute misconduct. In fact, prior to last night's game, Matthews had racked up just 2 minor penalties all season long and was likely in strong consideration for the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded to the player deemed most sportsmanlike. Adding 12 penalty minutes to his season-long total last night, Matthews is almost certainly out of the running now.

Naturally, Matthews probably wasn't too concerned with the Lady Byng Trophy in the first place. It's not the trophy he wants to put in his trophy case. The one he wants more than anything else is a Stanley Cup. I'm sure there will be more than one line brawl en route to that goal, if the Leafs can get there. I'm sure Matthews would happily wrestle, headlock and even punch his way to a Stanley Cup if that's what it takes - though none of that will matter if he doesn't continue to score like only he can.

With the playoffs now just a month away, it's nice to see the Leafs getting their heads in the game and adapting to that style of play in March. It will make them a very tough 1st round matchup for any Eastern Conference team, be it the Bruins, the Panthers, the Rangers or the Hurricanes.
POLL
March 31   |   502 answers
Auston Matthews has words with official after his 10-minute misconduct

Do you think Auston Matthews deserved a 10-minute misconduct for his involvement in last night's end-of-game scrum in Buffalo?

No way! Soft call43085.7 %
Yes, he was involved, so he deserved it306 %
I wish he'd do this more often!428.4 %
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