Throughout the 2021-22 NHL season, hockey fans have been treated to several memorable moments and performances. Although many stand out, one of the most impressive things from this campaign has been Auston Matthews and his goal-scoring ability.
The Toronto Maple Leafs superstar paces the league with a whopping 58 goals in only 67 games. Matthews became the first player since Mario Lemieux did it in 1995-96 to record 50 goals in 50 games at any point in the season, further highlighting his dominance.
The Maple Leafs have 10 games remaining, giving Matthews ample time to add to his goal total. Now, fans are wondering if he can become the first player to score 65 goals since Alex Ovechkin did it in 2007-08 or if he can somehow get to 70 since Alexander Mogilny and Teemu Selanne each had 76 in 1992-93.
Here’s a look at Matthews’ odds of hitting the 70-goal mark this season, along with what Toronto’s remaining schedule looks like.
Odds on Auston Matthews Scoring 70 Goals In 2021-22
- Over 69.5 (+500)
- Under 69.5 (-870)
Odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Can Auston Matthews Score 70 Goals This Season?
Although Auston Matthews scoring 70 goals this season would be a historical moment, FanDuel Sportsbook is favoring him to finish with 69 or fewer at -870 odds.
On one hand, it’s understandable if people are skeptical regarding his ability to achieve that goal. After all, 12 goals in 10 games is a lot for any player, especially once you consider that Matthews is scoring at a 0.87 goals-per-game pace this season, which translates to about nine goals in 10 games.
Even if you look at the fact that he has 51 goals in his last 50 games, that’s still “only” a 1.12 GPG rate. Needless to say, on paper at least, the deck is stacked against Matthews to hit 70 goals by the end of the year.
On the other hand, it’s important to point out that the 24-year-old has exactly 12 goals in his last 10 games, so it isn’t like he hasn’t already accomplished what he needs to do for the remainder of the year.
There were only two times in his last 10 games where he was held goalless, however, he’s had three multi-goal performances over that stretch to balance things out. In fact, each of Matthews’ three multi-goal nights has come in his last four games, giving him seven goals since April 4.
At the end of the day, it’s easy to understand why FanDuel Sportsbook is favoring the under in this situation. However, bettors shouldn’t let that distract them from the fact that there’s value to be had if Matthews can pull off scoring 12 goals in the next 10 games — something he’s clearly done before.
Matthews and Maple Leafs’ Remaining Schedule
One of the most important things regarding Auston Matthews’ chase to scoring 70 goals this NHL season is his and the Maple Leafs’ remaining schedule.
When it comes to the strength of the schedule, Toronto currently own’s the 16th-toughest remaining schedule, which puts the club right in the middle of the pack.
The good news is that four of the Maple Leafs’ remaining opponents have under-.500 records, opening up the door for more goal-scoring opportunities.
The bad news is that five of the other games aren’t exactly a walk in the park. The Maple Leafs will face the divisional rival Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston. Bruins once apiece, while also having two games against the Washington Capitals.
Having said that, it isn’t like Matthews hasn’t succeeded against good teams in the past. In fact, it’s clearly been tough for a team of any talent level to slow him down this season.
In order to help make things more digestible, here’s a look at the number of goals Matthews has scored against his remaining opponents this season:
2021-22 NHL Season Goal Totals for Auston Matthews Versus Toronto’s Remaining Opponents
- Florida Panthers: 1 G in 2 GP
- Boston Bruins: 3 G in 2 GP
- Tampa Bay Lightning: 3 G in 3 GP
- Washington Capitals: 0 G in 1 GP
- Philadelphia Flyers: 1 G in 2 GP
- Ottawa Senators: 0 G in 1 GP
- Buffalo Sabres: 1 G in 3 GP
- Detroit Red Wings: 1 G in 3 GP
- New York Islanders: 0 G in 2 GP
In total, Matthews has scored 10 goals in 19 games this season against his remaining opponents, which translates to a 0.53 GPG rate — not good enough to hit 70 goals.
Obviously, the past isn’t always indicative of what will happen in the future. Matthews is, arguably, the best player in the league at the moment and he’s likely playing on a different level compared to the last time he faced some of these teams.
Now that 70 goals are realistically within his grasp, Matthews is going to give it all he has down the stretch. Plus the Maple Leafs will want to lock down the best playoff position possible, meaning they’re going to need their star player to keep proving why he’s a Hart Memorial Trophy candidate this year.
Whether Matthews scores 70 goals or not this season, one thing is for certain: he’s going to give fans a show to remember for the rest of the season and if he can continue breaking records, that would be the icing on the cake.
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