Matthews will not attend the World Championship in Denmark next month, Kristen Shilton of TSN.ca reports. This is bad news for Team USA, but Matthews experienced upper-body and shoulder injuries this season, and he probably could use a mental break after the Maple Leafs lost to the Bruins through seven games of a grueling first-round playoff series. In his second NHL season, the puck prodigy notched 34 goals, 29 assists to complement a shiny plus-25 rating and 13 power-play points during the regular season, though Matthews looked a step slower in the conference quarterfinals and wound up with only two points and a minus-4 rating.
Matthews continued to struggle Thursday in a 3-1, Game 4 loss to Boston. Matthews had three shots in 20:52, but he couldn't capitalize on the absence of Patrice Bergeron, who had been blanketing the big sophomore center this series. The first player off the board in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has just a single goal in four games this postseason.
Matthews scored a goal and added an assist in Saturday's 4-2 win over the Canadiens. He finished the regular season on a 10-game scoring streak (seven goals, seven assists). Matthews delivered 63 points in 62 games, a pace that would have significantly improved on his 69-point rookie season. Next up, the postseason and a chance for Matthews to carry his team beyond the first round.
Matthews found the twine twice and set up another goal in a 5-2 win over the Sabres on Monday. Matthews continues to be one of the best in the league when he's healthy, and even though he's missed 20 games this season, he's been outstanding when he's hit the ice, scoring 60 points in 60 games.
Matthews returned to the lineup Thursday against the Predators, scoring his 29th goal of the season in a 5-2 victory. Matthews had been out since Feb. 22, but he didn't miss a beat in his return against Nashville. The first-line center logged 15:18 of ice time and beat Pekka Rinne with a great shot in tight after a nice toe-drag move. The 20-year-old is up to 51 points in 54 games and can be rolled out with confidence now that he's back to full health.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||82||40||29||69||2||8||2||8||530||602||199.5|