Matthews says Maple Leafs will ‘make it’ and win Cup: report
Auston matthews said he believes the Toronto Maple Leafs will improve and progress this season after losing in seven games to rivals the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup first round last season.
“It’s obviously very frustrating,” the Maple Leafs center told ESPN on Thursday. “This [stinks] at present. People have opinions and they can say whatever they want, and rightly so, but I really believe in the team and I really believe in all the players on the team – the core in particular.
“I really believe we’re going to get there. We’re going to be better because of our losses and the adversity we’ve been through.”
Toronto (35-14-7) finished first in the seven-team Nova Scotia North Division last season and had a 3-1 lead in the top seven series before losing to Montreal. It was the fifth straight season the Maple Leafs had qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs, but did not move past the first round. Toronto hasn’t reached the second round since 2004.
Matthews led the NHL with 41 regular season goals and was tied for fifth with 66 points in 52 games. His teammate Mitchell Marner was fourth with 67 points (20 goals, 47 assists) in 55 games. But the two combined to score one goal in the series against the Canadiens.
Maple Leafs captain John Tavares suffered a concussion and knee injury in Game 1, leaving the cross aside for the remainder of the series. Toronto also played the seventh game without a defenseman Jake muzzin, who suffered a lower body injury in Game 6.
âExtremely disappointing,â Matthews said. “But it’ll feel a lot better when we finally get to the top.”
Toronto will try to do so with several new payers, including the goalkeeper Petr Mrazek and forward Nick ritchie, David Kampf, Ondrej Kase and Michael bunting, each added in free agency. Goalkeeper Frederik Andersen (Carolina Hurricanes), forwards Zach Hyman (Edmonton Oilers), Joe thornton (Florida Panthers) and Nick foligno (Boston Bruins) and defenseman Zach Bogosian (Tampa Bay Lightning) each went in free agency.
Toronto will depend on its core of Matthews, Marner, Tavares, striker Guillaume Nylander and defender Morgan rielly turn the page this season. General manager Kyle Dubas has said he will “bet everything” that Toronto finds a way to win the Stanley Cup.
âI don’t think that’s news to us,â Matthews said. âWe know that’s how he feels. When he says it again, it gives us confidence to move forward. That’s all you can ask for, that your GM and all of your teammates really believe them. into each other. “
Matthews is expected to miss the start of training camp after undergoing wrist surgery on Aug. 13. He will be absent for at least six weeks.
The Maple Leafs’ first preseason game is on September 25 at home against the Canadiens. Toronto opens the regular season by hosting Montreal on October 13.