– Tim Peel (@TimCPeel20) May 13, 2023
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ shameful annual elimination came last night, as the Panthers ended the series after just five games.
The elimination may not have come in the first round (often in a Game 7), as has been the case since 2004, but it’s still an elimination that hurts Toronto very much, and is likely to have far-reaching consequences.
The Leafs’ big guns got their fair share of points, but only in the first round.
In Matthews’ case, he was once again the focus of criticism during the playoffs, and will be for the rest of the summer in Toronto.
Because, once again, the Leafs’ star has fallen apart in the playoffs, as soon as it’s time to take his game up a notch and show more intensity.
You’ll never win with Austin Matthews on your team. He doesn’t have what it takes to play in the playoffs. He’s too soft. – Tim Peel on Twitter
That’s very raw coming from a former NHL referee, but it’s also very true.
The Leafs’ number 34 will always find a way to get his team into the playoffs by having an excellent regular season (with 60 goals, for example), but then he’ll always disappoint in the spring tournament.
Yes, Matthews is known as a player who shows little emotion, but there’s a limit.
He really seems more like someone with an “I don’t care” attitude than someone who’s simply low-key.
It’s no longer a surprise to anyone, even in Toronto.
Matthews isn’t a playoff player, and he never will be. He lacks that something that makes Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon, Leon Draisaitl and even Matthew Tkachuk such playoff performers.
They’re able to take their game to another level, something Matthews just can’t do.
I know you’re going to tell me that Matthews has 11 points (five goals and six assists) in 11 games.
That’s more than respectable on paper, but when you look at the overall body of work, Matthews really isn’t giving enough.
It’s probably the beginning of the end in Toronto for this team, and Matthews could very well leave.
He doesn’t look like a guy who will re-sign with the Leafs a year from now when his contract expires.
So, if the Leafs don’t want to lose him on the free-agent market for nothing, trading him this summer could be an option.
We’ll keep a close eye on the 25-year-old American.
In a gust
“I believe we had a team good enough to win the Stanley Cup. And we didn’t do that.” Great look inside the Maple Leafs dressing room by @Zeisberger after their season-ending Game 5 loss to the Panthers. https://t.co/7lWOLPU6hx via @NHLdotcom
– Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) May 13, 2023
– Read more.
#Habs CHL playoff report & highlights:
– Mailloux is a shot machine.
– Beck looked great in Game One
– Davidson almost scored a tying goal.
– Zach Benson should interest #Habs fans.
– It’s easy to forget how amazingly fun Junior field hockey can be.
– Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) May 13, 2023
– What’s on our minds from Game 1 of the QMJHL Finals?
Summary and dressing room echoes: https: //t.co/CDpXi8ngr7
10 highlights from Game 1: https: //t.co/a72ym7DhGX
Outdoor atmosphere: https: //t.co/LUpJ4cWGMf
– Mikaël Lalancette (@MikLalancette) May 13, 2023
– Not to be missed today.
30 years of Montreal impact. 30 years of emotions.
Our DNA. This is who we are.
– CF Montréal (@cfmontreal) May 12, 2023
– Tony DeAngelo exchange update.