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Auston Matthews Reacts to Getting New Role with the Maple Leafs


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Liam
September 24, 2023  (6:32 PM)
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Auston Matthews is known across the league for being arguably the best goal scorer, and more recently for developing his elite two way play. Now at training camp for another season, the Leafs are looking at a new role for Matthews, and it's something that he seems excited for.

At the beginning of Leafs' training camp, head coach Sheldon Keefe announced a change to the special teams unit. Auston Matthews will be expected to kill penalties this season, despite having almost no experience of doing so in the NHL. Keefe said he had a gap to fill on the PK, needs someone to step up, and is looking to his elite two way centre to do so.
https://x.com/markhmasters/status/1705592855043920007?s=20
When asked about stepping into a new role on he PK, Matthews stated that although he's not been there before, he believes he can fit right in.
"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 that playing on the PK cons also open up certain offensive opportunities at times.
"...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 expected to be in the lineup.
POLL
SEPTEMBER 24   |   161 ANSWERS
Auston Matthews Reacts to Getting New Role with the Maple Leafs

How many goals will Matthews score this season?

Less than 302314.3 %
30+3421.1 %
40+3924.2 %
50+6540.4 %
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