The NHL season is very much still in its infancy, but the Toronto Maple Leafs, and specifically Auston Matthews have done something incredible to open the new campaign.
It’s Matthews’ job to put up goals and points, but his hot start is one for the record books. Combined with John Tavares, the Leafs’ offensive production is some of the best we’ve ever seen.
With Matthews’ seven goals and Tavares’ six, the pair became the first set of teammates with 6+ goals each through 4 team games since Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille of the 1988-89 LA Kings. That’s some pretty good company.
With a pair of goals apiece tonight, Auston Matthews of the @MapleLeafs now has 7 goals this year while John Tavares has 6. They are the first set of teammates with 6+ goals each through 4 team games since Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille of the 1988-89 LA Kings. #LeafsForever
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) October 10, 2018
Matthews and Tavares are putting up more goals to open the season than pretty much all NHL franchises. The pair has outscored 26 NHL teams, tying Washington and San Jose for their goal production. Only Carolina and Chicago have scored more goals than the two-star centers.
Goals in 2018/19 NHL Season
Auston Matthews – 7
John Tavares – 6
Detroit Red Wings – 6
Vegas Golden Knights – 6
Arizona Coyotes – 0
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) October 10, 2018
Their power-play has been lights out as well. Power Play Unit 1 has scored 5 goals already this season. They’ve only been on the ice for 8:33.
Sticking with Matthews, his hot start is one that has rewritten the Maple Leafs record book. You’d have to go back to 1944 to see the start Matthews has had. Like Matthews, Sweeney Schriner also scored 7 goals in the Leafs’ first four games.
There is a Maple Leafs connection with the offensive start Matthews has had. Patrick Marleau and Brendan Shanahan both opened the season with seven goals in four games. Of course, all three are now apart of the Leafs’ organization.
Matthews certainly hit the ground running to open the season, but he is aware that over the course of an NHL season, there are going to be ups and downs. Right now, he’s just trying to keep his hot streak alive for as long as possible.
“You’re getting your looks and they’re going in,” Matthews said of his quick start. “When that’s happening you want to keep it going for as long as possible because you know there’s going to be ups and downs (in the season).”
He has scored on half of his 14 shots. Of the players shooting 50% or more, Matthews is the only player with double-digits in shots. Second in line is Alexander Radulov, who has a shooting percentage of 50%, but has taken just six shots.
Matthews and Tavares lead the league in goals with seven and six respectively, while teammate Morgan Rielly and Matthews are tied with 10-points for the league lead. Mitch Marner is third in the league with 8 points.
In today’s NHL it is incredibly hard to put up these numbers and continue at this pace for 82 games. We’d expect Matthews and Tavares to slow down at some point.
For now, we can ride the rollercoaster of the pairs offensive output and enjoy the talent presented by these two men.
Leafs have scored 20 goals in 4 games. Matthews and Tavares has scored 13 of them. #DynamicDuo
— David Amber (@DavidAmber) October 10, 2018