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This High Scoring Forward Is Trying to Increase His Physicality


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William
October 26, 2022  (1:00)
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As reported in theathlectic.com article by Scott Wheeler last week, Auston Matthews, the star forward of the Toronto Maple Leafs stated to reporters when discussing his physicality, that he was attempting to 'lead the way in that department.'

He said that there was no real excuse for everybody to do the same and finish checks.
During the 2021-22 season the Leafs had 1,746 hits, or 21.3 per game. That ranked them 24th in the NHL. That certainly doesn't make them a particularly physical team.
This year's team has improved markedly. Through six games they already have 166 hits, or a 27.7 per game average placing them eighth in that category.
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As far as Matthews stats on hits, he too has stepped it up. In his first six games this season, he has 18 hits. Perhaps the rest of the team is getting the idea that if Auston can slam someone into the boards, they should follow suit.
It's been also noticed that when Matthews has had a play on the puck, he instead chose to play the body of an opponent.
His head coach Sheldon Keefe commented on Matthews physicality. 'It's a fine line for him, right? Because it's a long season and he has a lot of contact that comes his way and he has the puck and he's dangerous. But he's a big guy who can skate well and gets on top of the puck and has an opportunity to assert himself that way. It's just part o his growth as a player and part of his responsibility as a leader.'
So, why should a star player who has won the Maurice Richard Trophy given to the league's top scorer, chance injury by being more physical? Because it may help his team win more games and it also adds a new dimension to his game. That alone can assist the Leafs in the postseason where the Toronto team has a miserable record.
Perhaps this is Matthews way of showing his leadership to the other players. As if to say, 'look if I can hit opposing players off the puck, we should all be able to do the same thing.'
POLL
26 OCTOBRE   |   47 ANSWERS
This High Scoring Forward Is Trying to Increase His Physicality

Do you think Auston Matthews increasing his physicality will help the team?

It seems like it will, nothing else works!1225.5 %
No, it's way too risky919.1 %
It may help until he gets injured1123.4 %
He's a scorer, let the other guys do that1531.9 %
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