Tha Sports Junkies 101

Leafs top Panthers, Matthews sets new franchise record

The old Toronto Maple Leafs logo Federks/via Flickr


Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs held on to defeat the Florida Panthers 3-2. The game would see Auston Matthews set a new franchise record for rookie goals in a season.

Matthews, first overall draft pick from the 2016 NHL Draft, scored his 35th goal last night. The goal would set a new franchise record and get the Leafs on the board early. The record was previously held by Wendel Clark, who scored 34 goals in the 1985-86 season.

Clark expressed just prior to the game that he felt as if Matthews would indeed break his record. Fitting that Clark would mention it just ahead of the record being broken.

The Maple Leafs’ win last night keeps them a point ahead of the Boston Bruins. With every game meaning more and more, the game had a ‘must win’ feel to it. Goaltender Frederik Andersen did not play last night and is still listed as day-to-day. Curtis McHlhinney stopped a respectable 25 of the 27 shots that he faced as Garret Sparks sat on the bench.

Other Rookies Contributing

Something that went a little under the radar last night was Leafs rookie William Nylander. Nylander assisted on the Matthews goal, which extended his point streak to 12 games. The point streak is a franchise rookie record that Nylander continues to extend. At 12 games with a point, it also ties him for longest point streak this season.

Also, another thing to keep the eyes on is Mitch Marner at 40 assists. Marner is tied with Gus Bodnar for most assists by a rookie. It is a record that stands since the 1943-44 season. With seven games remaining, Marner has the ability to break the record, unless he goes cold.

The youth in Toronto this year is making noise and attracting attention. They are young and are on the verge of a playoff birth. The rookie filled lineup will play the Nashville Predators on Thursday night in Nashville. Following that, the Leafs will travel to Detroit for a match up against the Red Wings.

The Red Wings will miss the playoffs for the first time in 26 seasons, holding their streak at 25 years, still four short of the Boston Bruins at 29.