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The Quest for 50 goals: Auston Matthews

August 9, 2019, 10:29 AM ET [75 Comments]
Lucas Neilson
Toronto Maple Leafs Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
If the Maple Leafs number one pick can stay healthy for all 82 games he has a very good chance to bury 50 goals this season. A confident, healthy Auston Matthews is about as dangerous as it gets. His scoring ability and shot are top of the charts and this is going to be the year Matthews shows his dominance on the ice.

Confident? No question. Auston is the Leafs best natural goal scorer and I’m looking for him and Tavares to push each other this season and get the red light flashing and the horns a blasting! This is the season for the buds to shine.

All signs pointing to a rebound for William Nylander which should certainly spark up Matthew’s overall production. That’s one of the other keys to Matthews’ quest for fifty as he needs a quality skilled winger to not only help setup some goals but garner some attention from the opponent. The more time Auston has with the puck, the better. The more space Matthews has with the puck, the better. Hopefully we see a boost in ice time for number 34; at his age he should have no problem playing a quality 20+ minutes game each night.

212 games played: 111 goals, 94 assists, 205 points.

These are elite numbers from the Leafs franchise player. Matthews will turn 22 before the season starts and you can only imagine he’s going to continue to mature and grow into a scoring machine. Each season his time on the ice has gone up (about 25 seconds per game each season). So Matthews should be getting about 19 minutes of ice time on average if this trend continues. I’m all for more minutes for big Auston.

Each of the last two seasons Matthews has been over a point per game and there is no reason for him to slow down. He’s only played 62 and 68 games the last two seasons, so it truly would be eye-popping to see his overall stats if he was healthy all 82 games and playing in dominating fashion. Matthews had 25 even strength goals and 12 power play goals last season; a solid jump in power play goals as he almost doubled his career total.

Could it be the season the Leafs finally staple the C onto someone’s chest? I’d say it’s time.

With both Matthews and Tavares inked long term, I’d say either one of them is a good option. Rielly is another player I’d enjoy seeing represent the Maple Leafs captaincy.

What do you think, will Matthews score 50? Will the Leafs name their captain this season?

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend.
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