A few days ago I thought I hit a pretty good angle with the idea Auston Matthews had discovered the secret formula against one of the best goalies in the @nhl Carey Price. Research shows the Toronto Maple Leafs center has a nice tidy shooting percentage of 50% against the Montreal stopper. While all of that remains true, my apology to Price is motivated by the discovery Matthews is scoring on everyone at a career pace.
The first overall selection just over three years ago, Matthews has seven goals to start the season. He has found the net in all four games. Including two more against the previously perfect Dallas Stars.
Here is some context to the start by the Big Cactus.
In his rookie season, Matthews scored four goals in his NHL debut and hit 40 on the season. The Rookie of the Year didn’t celebrate goal seven until game twenty that season. It’s hard to imagine Matthews will replicate the strange 13 game drought that held him up in the opening quarter of that freshman campaign.
Matthews actually broke from the gate pretty fast last year when he scored seven goals in his first eight games, tallying 9 in the opening month. Injuries dampened the overall totals, but on a per-game basis, the right-handed shot averaged .55 goals an outing which translates into 45 over a full season.
So here you have a player who has raised the bar from one year to the next before grabbing it and throwing it on top of the CN Tower. (I hope he apologized to Drake)
Based on the seasons opening week, Matthews is skating toward 143 goals this winter and a new National Hockey League record. That is not going to happen. Of course, I said the same thing about Donald Trump becoming President of the United States.
Now consider this, the pace Matthews is setting in the points column would make Usain Bolt look about as fast as Jordan Spieth coming to the aid of Patrick Reed in a bar fight. (translation, Matthews is quicker than the fastest person to ever walk the earth)
10 points in 4 games. That’s worth 155 points even if Matthews only plays the 62 games he was limited to a year ago. 205 should he play all 82. A total that incredibly would not be a National Hockey League all-time high so I say we just move on from the depressing fact that Wayne Gretzky did something that will never happen again.
This has proven to be a massive sound suppressor to the speculated feud between the NHL’s first star of the week and his head coach. Even critics of the fashion Mike Babcock’ distributes his ice time can’t say much with Matthews up slightly this year knocking on 18:30 a night.
Keep this in mind. One of the most impressive areas of Matthews production was the number of goals he scores five on five. Let’s say he levels off there; the power play should improve his overall numbers.
Auston Matthews is the third @MapleLeafs player to record multiple points in each of the franchise’s opening four contests, joining Harry Cameron in 1917-18 and Sweeney Schriner in 1944-45. #NHLStats #NHLFaceoff pic.twitter.com/6PBuuHzfcX
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 10, 2018
Vegas Golden Knight forward Williams Karlsson cranked out a 40 goal year last year. One of the major reasons experts don’t believe he can repeat that number is because the winger scored at a 25% clip. Right now Matthews is celebrating every second shot he takes.
Now just imagine if he wasn’t spending half his time practicing his blue steel male-model look with the fashion photo shoots. Heck, not even the flashbulbs are as bright as his game right now.
So to Carey Price, I say I’m sorry. To the rest of the goaltenders in the NHL, good luck.