Leafs’ Matthews eyeing 70-goal season

At the helm of Canada’s team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, is Captain America, Auston Matthews.

Bruce Penton

February 10, 2024

Matthews, who grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, is setting the National Hockey League on fire with his goal-scoring prowess and is threatening to become the first NHLer in more than 30 years to hit the 70-goal mark.

Shortly after the all-star break, the Leafs' superstar had potted 42 goals in 49 games. At that pace, he'd hit 70 goals. And there's no reason to suspect he'll be slowing down any time soon. His prolific offence is needed, too, because his Maple Leafs are in a dogfight for a playoff position -- possibly third spot in the Atlantic Division, or at least one of the two wildcard positions available in the Eastern Conference.

After starting the season with back-to-back three-goal games, Matthews, named the Most Valuable Player at this year's all-star game, has since scored hat tricks in two other games, and recorded four two-goal games. His career goal total is approaching 350 and has him on a potential trajectory to threaten Wayne Gretzky's all-time career record of 892 goals. Ten seasons of 50 goals would put him close to the Great One. He's only 26 and should have at least 10 good years left, but as the hockey world has seen with the slow offensive decline of Alex Ovechkin in his mid- to late-30s, there are no guarantees.

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