Young Maple Leafs sensation Auston Matthews returned to the team Thursday night after a month-long layoff due to a shoulder injury, suiting up for a 5-2 win at league-leading Nashville. It didn’t take long for Matthews to satisfy our cravings for some pretty, self-assured stickhandling.
Late in the second period, Matthews forced his way past a wall of three Preds defenders, playing some one-on-three keepaway as he refused to lose control, even after what looks like a blocked shot. He eventually manuevered himself into perfect position to score a deadlock-breaking goal.
That’s 29 goals now in 54 games for the somewhat fragile-seeming Matthews. But now, wonderfully, he’s healthy just in time for when it matters most.