Auston Matthews Reacts to Getting New Role with the Maple Leafs

Published September 24, 2023 at 2:09 PM

Auston Matthews' goal-scoring ability makes him a no-brainer on the powerplay. However, the Toronto Maple Leafs star player will get a new role this season, something he says he's looking forward to.

Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe has said Matthews will be getting time on the penalty kill in 2023-24, something he has done very little of in his NHL career. Keefe told reporters he has a void on the PK, and he needs someone to step up.

Asked about the remarks, Matthews said it's obviously not something he's used to, but he believes he's up for the challenge.

"You're down a man but at the same time, it's hockey, a lot of anticipation, a lot of reads and I feel like I have a good stick and can break up plays. I'd love to be utilized on it."

Matthews added playing on the PK could also open up offensive opportunities for him.

"...when you go out against guys like Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on the penalty kill, it definitely makes you think a little bit more maybe just because not only are they very good defensively, they can knock pucks out of the air and force you to make plays in tough positions and then transition the other way. Obviously you're not trying to score every time you are out there but there's definitely a lot of opportunity there and something I definitely want to embrace."

Toronto opens its preseason Sunday against the Ottawa Senators. Matthews is not in the lineup.

September 24   |   105 answers
Auston Matthews Reacts to Getting New Role with the Maple Leafs

How many goals will Matthews score this season?

Less than 3087.6 %
30+2019 %
40+3028.6 %
50+4744.8 %
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