What We Learned: Putting Auston Matthews’ incredible season into context
Auston Matthews scored two more goals for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, padding his season total to 58, and giving him 51 goals in his last 50 games.
It’s just the first time anyone has accomplished the feat since 1996 when Mario Lemieux did it. What’s notable is that this happened after more than a decade and a half of Alex Ovechkin’s career, and in a goal-scoring environment in which goalies and defenses have created a second Dead Puck Era.
And while it’s not exactly a “50 in the first 50” accomplishment, which is more celebrated and has only happened for a handful of players in NHL history, it’s nonetheless a stunning milestone simply because there have only been two 60-goal seasons in the salary cap era — and Matthews seems poised to obliterate that mark.
He’s up to 58 goals in 67 games (having missed five of his team’s games due to injury or suspension), and has 10 more games to pad that total. If recent trends hold, he has an outside chance to hit 70 goals in 72 games and would become just the eighth player in league history to reach that milestone.
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