Auston Matthews. That’s all I really need to say at this point about a Maple Leafs win, isn’t it? Of course there was much more, five more goals from other players actually, and many great plays in the absolute pantsing of the Senators.

Here’s our recap of the game:

Maple Leafs don’t blow 4 goal lead to Ottawa, win 7-3

Matthews was as ever on the ball with two goals and two assists, bringing him to 25 points in 17 games. That’s a pace in a regular season for 120 points over 82 games. In the past twenty years we’ve seen both of Phil Kessel and Mats Sundin manage to get 80 points in a season. Matthews is moving far beyond that. It’s incredible.

Matthews is already a player we’ll talk about for years even if he’s gone tomorrow, but he’s heading in the direction now of being a player that will be talked about for decades. The Leafs do have a lot of players in that category already, from recent decades, and later, and much later, but you cannot deny that directionally he’s on that shining path to being a candidate for the GLOAT, the greatest Leaf of all time.

Will Auston Matthews become the GLOAT?

It certainly possible. That doesn’t mean it will happen though.214
It’s not only possible, it’s going to happen.115
Someone obviously doesn’t remember any of the Leafs before the year 2000.72
He already is the GLOAT in my books!58
I don’t care if he’s the GLOAT. I just care that he’s on fire right now and brings us a Cup this year.207

After three games in a row, that’s all we’ll see of the Leafs vs. the Senators for now. Their next meetup is a little over three weeks away. The Leafs next game is Saturday in Montreal against the Canadiens. You may recall the Leafs played them last Saturday too, but while the Leafs have since played the three games against the Senators, the Habs have had this whole week off, so they will be coming in fresh and rested for the game on their home ice. It will be an extra layer of difficulty for the Leafs against their real rival in the division.

The Marlies lost to the Moose 4-2 last night. It was their third of a four game series against the team with the final one to be played tonight. Then the Marlies move further west to Calgary to play against the Stockton Heat, conveniently timed for a week where the Calgary Flames will be in Toronto to play the Leafs.

This pass from Nick Robertson didn’t work out, but it’s the exact shot that you want him to see put on the stick of Tavares or Matthews with the Leafs in the coming seasons.

Other News

The NHL has quite the natural backdrop for its outdoor games coming this weekend at Lake Tahoe which is in Colorado New Mexico or something. The conditions are looking favourable, with temperatures hovering a few degrees above freezing with little to no wind. Both games are matinees starting at 2 to 3 p.m. ET.

This is a great bit of lore here from Brian Burke on being GM in Vancouver in the 1980’s. Wait for the part where Burke explains how he bought the scouts laptops which back then cost $8,000 each, but then pinched pennies to save on long-distance fees when they filed their reports with a dial-up modem connection.

And there was a goal review called at last nights Nashville Predators game for the very rare case where a linesman may have accidentally deflected the puck into the net himself.

The Canadiens must soon decide what to do with Tomas Tatar - Eyes On The Prize
After being scratched against the Leafs, it’s worth wondering about the winger’s future with the Canadiens.

Blues GM: 'Goal is to keep' Binnington - TSN
“If you look at this age and you look at what he’s accomplished, you know most teams have a No. 1 guy, and we have a No. 1 guy. Certainly, if he’s not here, we’re going to have to go find another partner for Husso. So, our goal is to keep him here, obviously.” - Doug Armstrong

Don’t Nickel-And-Dime The Nuge - The Copper & Blue
“Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a star. The Oilers are the only NHL club he’s played on, and unless 93’s ask is just through the moon it should be the only NHL club he ever plays on.”

NHL names Bally's official sports betting partner -
[Species: We knew this was coming ever since the Supreme Court of the US struck down in 2018 the US Federal government law banning sports betting. The NHL is going all in on it in the US.]