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It's a bizarre stat facing the Toronto Maple Leafs right now that reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner Auston Matthews has only lit the lamp a single time so far this season, and it was off of a deflected shot.
It's certainly not for a lack of trying, as Matthews 4.71 shots on net per game are the second highest total of his career. And it's certainly weighing on his mind that he's not scoring at his usual dominant pace.
“It sucks. It’s frustrating for sure,” Matthews said last night of not being able to find the back of the net despite posting three assists Saturday night against the Winnipeg Jets. “But we’re getting the chances and I think I just need one to go in. I think that’s the biggest thing is, you get one to go in and you just kind of relax a little bit and I think over the last two, three games, we’ve definitely offensively been more in rhythm and had a lot of really good looks and chances.”
The Leafs have been getting scoring from the likes of John Tavares, who is off to a terrific start. However, it's certainly unusual not to see Matthews frequent the scoring sheet.
Matthews and the Leafs will travel to San Jose for a matchup against the hapless Sharks on Thursday night from SAP Center. A team with only one victory so far this season should be a prime opportunity for a sniper like Matthews to increase his stat totals.