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GDT #16: NOV 5, 7:30, TSN - Kings at Leafs

leaffan2005

Well-known member
The issue with Matthews is that he has all world talent, and only really puts it on display when he feels like it. Even with all of his great numbers, he is very much capable of more. Doing better against tough matchups instead of just piling on against poor teams would also help. His playoff performance was better last year but he has consistently been outplayed by the stars on the other team in the post-season.

Comparing him to Kessel is definitely dumb, though.
 

Artnes

Well-known member
The issue with Matthews is that he has all world talent, and only really puts it on display when he feels like it. Even with all of his great numbers, he is very much capable of more. Doing better against tough matchups instead of just piling on against poor teams would also help. His playoff performance was better last year but he has consistently been outplayed by the stars on the other team in the post-season.

Comparing him to Kessel is definitely dumb, though.
1 bad series out of 3
 

MindzEye

Wayward Ditch Pig
Comparing him to Kessel is dumb.

But continuing the narrative that something was wrong with Kessel is equally dumb, and that's the underlying assertion here that being a key member of back to back SC teams seems to have not rehabilitated Kessel's reputation in the eyes of the people who ran him out of town. That shows a stunning lack of ability to analyze hockey players and learn from their own **** ups in analyzing hockey players.

Kessel was a really, really good player in Toronto. He just wasn't good enough to drag the team kicking and screaming into deep playoff runs. Odd that he went to a good team, with other good players and immediately showed himself to be one of their best players and very much able to be a playoff stud.

Never forget that the Toronto media sold us the narrative that Kessel was the problem with the team, couldn't win with him, etc. Also don't forget that Babcock refused to even coach him. Dude then went and beasted his way to 2 chips.
 

MindzEye

Wayward Ditch Pig
phil's gonna get the yotes back into the playoffs, too.
Phil might be Patient Zero when it comes to Toronto's irrational take on what a "winner" looks like. But I guess that's par for the course when the media consistently loads itself up with journeymen pluggers to lavish their opinions on us for generations now.
 

zeke

Well-known member
5v5 adj

Bergy/Marchand/Pastrnak: 158:49, 59.5cf%, 60.3xgf%, 64.4gf% ---> 14gf, 8ga
Auston/Willy/Johnsson: 167:28, 57.6cf%, 58.4xgf%, 59.9gf% ----> 11gf, 7ga
 

Artnes

Well-known member
Marginally outplayed by one of the best lines in hockey and one of the best defensive centers ever
 

Matrim

Active member
Games have 3 periods though. I mean, is that the bar for critique now? When do we start criticizing him on a shift by shift basis?
I think they are already there. Hell I've had those thoughts watching the games too, I just want to see complete dominance at both ends every time he steps on the ice, same with Marner, Tavares and lesser extent Nylander. But they are only human and aren't perfect hockey playing robots like some hope.

Either way, I've been staying away from Twitter and hockey media in general as it's so negative it's suffocating, it's helped a little in enjoying the games but then the team plays boring hockey so either way this season has been pretty shitty and not fun to watch which hockey it should be. Especially this team with all the superstar offensive talent. But Babcock doesn't seem to know the identity of the team and keeps shoving a round peg into a square hole.
 

Volcanologist

Well-known member
Games have 3 periods though. I mean, is that the bar for critique now? When do we start criticizing him on a shift by shift basis?
Imagine what this kid could do if he really went after the play instead of coasting around waiting for it to come to him. He's huge, is an incredible stickhandler, and should be close to impossible to handle along the boards.

Actually, we don't have to imagine...we saw it pre-Trouba/Kronwall hits.

that Matthews has since vanished near-completely.

I'm hoping this is a Babcock thing and this kid will resume what looked to be a very steep upward curve under a new coach who can hopefully work better with him.

Or...maybe I simply overrate Matthews, he's not some kind of truly elite player, and is "only" a top 20ish scorer.

If that is the case, then yeah, criticizing him would be unfounded(contract aside). he's producing fine.
 

WellPlayed

Well-known member
I would agree that he does not seem to be battling in the dirty areas quite like he was prior to the hits, and seems to have lost the puck stealing ability that seemed like it was going to be Datsyuk-esque when he first arrived. But that's all eye test.
 

MindzEye

Wayward Ditch Pig
Except he's 3rd in the league in goals, 8th in points and is clearly driving play.

We don't have any proof "that" Matthews was actually better than this one, just that he moved around visibly faster (and spent more time injured). This Matthews is already an elite player.
 

MindzEye

Wayward Ditch Pig
and "this" Matthews isn't exactly avoiding the dirty areas either. 6 of his 12 goals have come from right in front of the net. It's not like he's standing in the high slot and waiting for someone to get him the puck.
 

leafman101

Well-known member
It kinda seems like people are just used to Matthews magic. He routinely makes plays 99% of the league flat out can't. Even his dirty goal last night, he was the only one of like 7 players in front of the net that knew exactly where the puck was. Then on Nylander's goal, Willy had essentially a gimme, by the sheer fact that Auston Matthews is Auston Matthews and Quick and the dman played the 2 on 1 as if he was 100% getting the puck back. Which was all set up by the quick pass back to Willy and going hard to the net.

He just does shit like that multiple times a game so people think its not special anymore. People expect him to steal the puck on every back check and go end to end or something.
 

leafman101

Well-known member
and "this" Matthews isn't exactly avoiding the dirty areas either. 6 of his 12 goals have come from right in front of the net. It's not like he's standing in the high slot and waiting for someone to get him the puck.
Yeah he doesn’t avoid the dirty areas at all. Or contact. He’s already been smoked a couple times this year trying to cut hard through the middle which people were up in arms about the Leafs lack of toughness for not responding.
 

WellPlayed

Well-known member
You're probably right. I do feel like he's lost some of the puck-retrieval magic he seemed to have before, but that could just be unrealistic expectations. When a guy comes in and is as good as he was as soon as he was, expecting significant improvement each year of his early 20's isn't really realistic.

Either way that entire Kessel comparison and some of the shit the media is starting to come up with is terrible even by their standards. I'm torn, because I would like to see Babcock get canned, but some of overreaction and stupidity by the media due to this sluggish start is almost too much to take.
 

zeke

Well-known member
And the best part is that all the numbers say that he's drastically improved on his previous weakness - defense.
 
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