The main theme for the Toronto Maple Leafs always seems to be “hope.” A new goalie gives fans hope, a new trade gives fans hope, a new coach gives fans hope, etc.
This year, Auston Matthews is a Hopeasaurus Rex.
Hope is at an all time high with Toronto Maple Leafs fans who witnessed Matthews’ historic first regular season NHL game last night, scoring 4 goals. This certainly his historic after all, Alex Ovechkin only scored 2 goals in his debut, Gretzky only recorded an assist, and Sidney Crosby didn’t score his first goal until his 3rd game. Certainly, Matthews is already ahead of his star predecessors.
Whether this will result in a Stanley Cup remains to be seen (insert your own ‘plan the parade’ joke here). Matthews obviously does not seem intimidated by the NHL spotlight, and if he can hang with the heavy hitters on other teams he’ll be a valuable addition to scoring, but whether the team makes playoffs depends on the Leafs as a whole.
For example, let’s look at Connor McDavid.
Last year’s “star savior for a struggling team,” Newmarket’s Connor McDavid’s season began with a rough start, getting sidelined by injures. He would only play half the games he could’ve in the regular season. Still, when he did play he was a living breathing highlight reel. Surely this up and coming prodigy’s contributions made some impact for the Oilers! The Oilers have finished almost last place every year for the past 3 years! How did they do now that they had a McDavid?
Bottom line, making playoffs is dependent on a team as a whole, let alone winning Stanley Cups. Auston Matthews is a Toronto Maple Leaf, and is here to win. It’s up to the other players on the bench to do the same.