Matthews, a prodigal talent picked No. 1 overall in June's NHL draft, scored his first three NHL goals on his first three NHL shots, becoming just the fifth player in modern NHL history, and the first Leaf, to score a hat trick in his maiden game.
This will go down as a "remember where you were" kind of night.
Nothing has compared in almost a century. Glaser scored twice to put him at 93 career points, passing Kyle Dezotell, who set the previous record in 2003 by amassing 90. "From my perspective, since I've been the Leafs coach, that's the best night I've had since I've been here, by 10 miles - not even close". Michaela Horne scored the lone goal for the Purple Knights. It was the pure panache he showed.
"He got four scoring chances and he scored four goals", Karlsson told the Toronto Sun. Although they'd never admit it, they wanted the best possible shot at Matthews the year after they missed out on Connor McDavid. But he is a good player. He added number four with just three seconds left in the middle frame, barely celebrating in his characteristic level-headed fashion.
Locally, in mens' college soccer, America East conference foes UMass Lowell and the University of Vermont went head to head in MA yesterday and it was a header by Lowell's Joe Kellett with less than five minutes left in the game that gave the River Hawks a 2-1 win over the Catamounts.
Twitter reaction from NHLers around the league mingled awe with humour. The best part of his four-goal night was he did it easily.
"I've just decided that Reims will play ALL of the games versus the leafs this year", tweeted Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo, referring to backup James Reimer.
Matthews brings it large: unbelievable. The native of Scottsdale, Arizona once considered pursuing baseball instead. Matthews was in their fantasy hockey lineups and a big game would sure be nice, they said.
Matt Murray, Pittsburgh It's amusing to think of Murray as a rookie, considering he was the starting goalie who led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in June.
Matthews, 19, certainly has the early pedigree - he led Team USA in goals (six) and tied for the lead in points (nine) at the world championship in May. And he led the fourth-place American team in scoring (6-3-9) at the Worlds in Russian Federation in May. Only four others have had a hat trick in their first game. His father, Brian is Californian and his mother, Ema is from Mexico. However, it will nearly never be that bad, so if they play even close to last night's game consistently, they won't just be a playoff team, they'll be a contender.
Based on our preseason power rankings, the Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to be the second-worst team in the National Hockey League, and we see them finishing last in the Eastern Conference with a lowly 11.06% chance of making the postseason.
In 1996, the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes. They aren't going to win a Stanley Cup tomorrow.
Before the ice was dry after the first-intermission flood, Matthews popped his third marker - this one after he camped out on the Senators doorstep and buried a well-timed pass from Morgan Rielly.
The Canadian media has always supported a narrative in which the best player in hockey is Canadian. "It was an exciting night for our whole organization and it was a good way to start it". It creates impossible expectations for Matthews to meet.
Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Coming off a Memorial Cup win with the London Knights, where he scored the championship-winning goal in overtime, Tkachuk surprised no one by making the Flames roster.
When McDavid heard about Matthews' outburst on Wednesday night he said, "I think in my first game I touched the puck four times, so it was a little bit of a different night for us on our opening nights".
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