- Should there be more Americans near the top of the NHL Top 100?
- Auston Matthews opens up about how Leafs can take next step in playoffs
|East 2nd Round - Game 5|
|East 2nd Round - Game 4|
|East 2nd Round - Game 3|
|East 2nd Round - Game 2|
|East 2nd Round - Game 1|
News: 4 days agoMatthews will see more regular time on the penalty kill this season, reports The Athletic.
Spin: Matthews has seen a total of only about 24 minutes on the PK in nearly 500 NHL games, but that's about to change. Matthews is one of the NHL's best 5v5 players and always among the league leaders in takeaways. So, the threat of a steal -- and of Matthews taking off shorthanded with a lot of open ice -- will certainly put extra pressure on opposing PPs. Matthews won't be one of the Leafs' top options on the PK -- those minutes belong to Mitchell Marner, David Kampf and Calle Jarnkrok, with Sam Lafferty getting some, too. The only negative? Playing on the PK will likely lead to a slight drop in 5v5 time. That's less than ideal for one of the NHL's best 5v5 players, and for fantasy managers needing that even-strength production, but it won't be enough to affect his draft spot or overall fantasy worth.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: Virtually all of Matthews' numbers in 2022-23 were right in line with his 60-goal, 106-point breakout campaign of 2021-22, but his shooting percentage dipped to a career-low 12.2 and his production (40 goals, 85 points) suffered as a result. The good news is Matthews has now scored 40-plus goals in four straight years while averaging better than a point-per-game in six straight seasons. He could easily threaten the 50-goal plateau in 2023-24 with just a minor rebound to his shooting percentage, which, combined with his elite power-play production (28 points in 2022-23), make the No. 1 overall pick from 2016 a no-doubt first-rounder in all fantasy formats.