Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews made historical past twice in Thursday’s 4-3 win over hosts Dallas in extra time.
The 24-year-old scored his fifty fifth objective of the season late within the second half, passing Rick Fife to set Toronto’s report in a single season. His 56th objective gave the Maple Leafs an extra time win and set the report for many objectives by a US-born participant in a single season.
Matthews has each feats in simply 66 video games and has scored 49 objectives in simply his final 50 video games.
Jimmy Carson (1987-1988) and Kevin Stevens (1992-93) set the report for probably the most objectives by a US-born participant with 55. The Fife mark of 54 has held out for greater than 40 years, from the 1981-1982 marketing campaign ( which was the highest-scoring season in current NHL historical past).
The 62-year-old former winger knew it was solely a matter of time earlier than Matthews came over him. Toronto’s first total choose in 2016 had scored 47 objectives earlier than the 2019-20 season was halted on account of COVID-19, and scored 41 objectives within the pandemic’s shortened schedule of 56 video games final 12 months.
“I am completely satisfied for him, I am actually completely satisfied,” Fife advised ESPN. “I used to be anticipating him to do it two years in the past. He is a era sort participant. It has been 40 years since that report. I am glad I am right here to see it.”
Matthews scored his first objective on Thursday with a single stroke from the underside of the circle to the left of goalkeeper Scott Wedgwood after taking a cross from Mark Giordano in a powerful recreation to steer 2-1 with 1:02 seconds left within the second half. second interval. The winner got here when he bought a cross from William Nylander and was in a position to cross the ball round Wedgewood in extra time.
Matthews stated earlier than Thursday’s recreation that probably breaking the report – having failed to take action in Toronto’s 7-6 extra time loss to Florida on Tuesday – wasn’t his true focus.
“It did not have an effect on me that a lot,” Matthews stated. “I take it recreation by recreation and clearly each recreation I attempt to create to assault and attempt to rating and attempt to produce and assist the group win. [Everything else] It did not weigh me down.”
Fife was the primary participant in Leafs sequence historical past to attain greater than 50 objectives, and he did so thrice within the Eighties. Gary Lyman in 1990 and Dave Andrechuk in 1994 have been the one different Fife to satisfy, till Matthews crossed the 50-goal mark for the primary time on March 31 towards Winnipeg.
Matthews solely wanted 62 video games to attain his fiftieth objective, making it the quickest season with 50 objectives since 1995-96.
He has now set a brand new normal in Toronto, one he can proceed to construct on this 12 months and probably surpass in seasons to come back.
“His abilities are outrageous,” Fife stated. “It is simply loopy, how good he’s with a puck and the way good his shot is. I am glad a man like him did it as a result of it could have been completely different if somebody had had a fortunate 12 months and I did it.” [once]whereas he is a man you’ll be able to most likely depend on to get there or shut yearly.”
Matthews continues to steer the NHL in objectives on his solution to successful the second consecutive Rocket Richard Cup in his profession. Edmonton’s Leon Drissette was Matthews’ closest challenger for the award, coming into Thursday with 50 objectives.
The Related Press contributed to this story.