Is a 60-goal season in the cards? Through 80 games, this 24-year-old kid from California is sitting at 58 goals with a chance to make history — but time is running short with only 2 games left.
Only 20 players in 100+ years of NHL history can say they’ve done what Matthews is trying to accomplish this week. Since 1996, It’s become an increasingly rare feat with only 2 players achieving it in the last 25 years: Alex Ovechkin scored 65 in 2007-08; and Steven Stamkos scored 60 in 2011-12.
Matthews was cruising towards #60 but has been held without a goal since April 9th. He missed a couple games since then with an undisclosed injury but returned over the weekend and is projected to be in tonight’s lineup.
Considering the Leafs’ final game is against Boston — a much tougher defensive team — if Matthews wants to score 60+, he needs to shoot for it tonight in an exploitable matchup at home vs. Detroit, a team allowing 3.8 goals (7th most) and 3.75 expected goals (4th most) per game in their last 10 on the road.
Sportsbooks are well-aware of the situation and have juiced the odds on his goals scorer prop as low as -200. That’s too expensive, and I don’t recommend betting it, because I like something better.
Matthews definitely wants to score tonight, but I noticed he’s also going for career Assist #400. He’s currently sitting at 398 with a chance to break 400 in front of his home fans. This milestone is obviously less urgent than goal scoring since he could finish the assists next year, but why wait?
In his last game vs. Detroit, Matthews had 3 assists (February 26th), and in the matchup before that, he tallied 2 (January 29th). He’s also averaging an assist per game in his last 5 and 0.9 in his last 10.