It took nearly eight periods but Toronto’s best player has shown up on the scoresheet — and just in time to save Leafs Nation from blowing its collective gasket.
After Auston Matthews went pointless through the first two games of the opening-round clash between the Leafs and Bruins, he finally broke the seal at the tail end of the second frame in Game 3 — And it couldn’t been more timely for a team down 2-0 in the series and looking all but dead after a brutal two-game stretch in Boston.
Working the cycle and hemming the Bruins in the zone, Jake Gardiner delivered an agressive pinch which eventually saw the puck land on the stick of Willy Nylander who, as he often does, found his partner in crime before Matthews roofed it past Tuukka Rask. It was the first point of the series for both Nylander and Matthews, who — along with 18 other guys in blue and white — looked completely overwhelmed as the Bruins built up a 2-0 series lead on the heels of a couple blowout wins.
Sure, the Maple Leafs sophomore is an immensely talented professional and works hard to correct deficiencies in his game on a daily basis, but the most-likely reason for Matthews’s timely emergence is obviously this shirt his mother Ema was rocking in the crowd.
More shirts, mom. More shirts.