Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t lose any sleep over Auston Matthews’ words

Well, it’s hard to say the Leafs’ opening two games against could have gone much worse.

Outscored 12-4 over their opening two games in Boston and never really looking like they’ve had a chance to win either game by the time the first periods were over, it’s natural to be frustrated with the team’s performance.

But while there was a lot to discussing following the game: Leo Komarov’s injury, the yanking of Frederik Andersen after just four shots, and the low probability of them coming back to win the series, many decided to focus on a pair of words uttered by none other than the Leafs’ #34.

For many, they applauded the candid nature of Matthews’ comments. After all, what else could he be expected to say? The Leafs played great? He’s happy to be losing?

But if you click in the replies to Chris Johnston’s tweet (or any of the other reporters who shared the quote), you’ll find a bunch of “terrible response” and “not captain material” and other variations attacking Matthews’ statement and his character

For some in the media, Matthews’ answer crossed the line.

Cox fell victim to the infamous twitter ratio, while similarly, this anonymous “bro” account was widely made fun of for

Look, I’m not going to police the language of people. If you don’t think an athlete should be swearing, well, you don’t have to tell your children what Matthews said, but beyond that, who really cares? If you think the statement “shit happens” shows that Auston Matthews doesn’t care about the game enough… I don’t know what to tell you.

Using Dion Phaneuf as your role model, the defenceman who managed an entire seven playoff games as Leafs captain? I mean, you can’t exactly blame just Dion for the team’s struggles while he was here, but let’s call a spade a spade- it’s not like he willed the Leafs teams to be uber-competitive or anything, and just about everyone views Phaneuf’s captaincy as one of the worst eras in team history, fair to Phaneuf or not.

Though the Leafs were able to head back to Toronto with a win in their second game, one year ago Matthews found himself in a similar situation. How did he respond? Scoring goals in four straight games, including a now-iconic goal in Game 6 to briefly give the Leafs a 1-0 lead. He’ll be fine, and unless it’s the first time you’ve heard or read someone curse before, let’s find something else to talk about.

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    Sha na na na Hey hey Goodbye. Leafs lack coaching and character. The Leaf players will eventually stop playing for Babcock but I thought it would take a year or two more, looks like it is now.

    • getrdone

      The Leafs played well enough for 6th overall, playoffs are tough hockey and so far the Bruins have owned it. Nothing about lack of coaching and character. They are discouraged, but have not stopped playing for the coach.

  • lukewarmwater

    I’m convinced that Matthews is still having problems with the back as he doesn’t seem to be skating as well as he can and certainly is avoiding the physical play. I’m willing to give him the benefit of doubt but not to certain other veterans who played, well the way they have played in the previous 15 games in the playoffs as a leaf.
    Btw if some of the leafs showed as much passion as most of the posters have in here, we might have seen a better effort from the leafs. Great to debate and spar with others. We keep it basically civil and agree to disagree at times. But we all agree on wanting the leafs to win except for the one troll in here. Somehow I think that is his real picture.

  • FightingFourDozen

    Boston is just the better team, they’re shutting Papi down, he’s just young, this is the real playoff wake up call, Washington last year wasn’t in the class of Boston this year, Boston is the real deal, Washington last year was similar to the Leafs right now, regular season team, stick to the process, the Shanaplan is supposed to be about building a perennial contender, if you thought the Leafs were actually contending this year, now you’re getting a wake up call too.

  • FightingFourDozen

    Also, just to add, Matthews is not the captain yet, if anybody deserves the heat to put on them here, it’s Morgan Reilly, he’s not a kid, he’s not on his ELC, he’s got term and five schmill a year, he’s supposed to the top d-man on this team and part of leadership group, and he has been absolutely pathetic, don’t get me wrong, I like the guy as a person, but in his own zone, he is not getting better as time goes on, he has been a disaster area, I ain’t mad at Matty, but Mo is honestly starting to piss me off, long since time he should figured this out by now.

    • lukewarmwater

      In reality Dozen, you are dealing with the usual suspect Toronto media that crowns any draft pick as a future Norris trophy winner or Hall of famer. Such was the case with the pylon Luke Schenn who amazingly was a pylong at age 18. Reilly at best is a third in the defensive pairings of a good team. He is solid on offence but almost as clueless as Jake the Snake on defence. Btw my soap box got rid of the racist fool and one can only hope that Leafs nation won’t become sportsnet where the trolls and their multiple monikers make a mockery of a site. Several papers and even T.S.N. have dropped their comment sections because of dranged, deluded clowns like C.M. Punk.

  • FightingFourDozen

    Seem like they’re just editing out political/controverial non hockey related posting, so I’ll just take the hint and stick to Leafs talk.

    As for Mo being a #3? Just looking at his baseline metrics during this regular season and last year in the playoffs, his numbers are top pairing comparable bordering on elite, then through the first two games here, he’s completely melted down.