Auston Matthews checks the back of a Senators players jersey

Auston Matthews is ruthless.

The Toronto Maple Leafs star forward made an impact in his first preseason game against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday, scoring two goals in a 4-3 loss. But it was something he did during a break in the action that had Leafs Nation declaring him for team captain.

After getting into it with Senators forward Scott Sabourin after the whistle, Matthews committed a ruthless chirp without even saying a thing. Sabourin is a career AHLer and is unknown to most hockey fans. Matthews tried to figure out who he was by looking at the back of his jersey.

It was a savage chirp by Matthews, who is coming off a 37-goal season. There aren’t many NHL players who are so good they can subtly do this to other players in a preseason contest. Matthews has a history of performing well against the Senators. If you can remember a few years back, the American superstar center made his NHL debut in Ottawa at Scotiabank Centre, wowing the hockey world with a four-goal performance.

Retired NHLer and well-known social media star Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2Point0) explained in a tweet afterwards that he played with Sabourin in the AHL on the Manchester Monarchs. He said Sabourin is a Calder Cup Champion and Pablo (a nickname for Matthews with his mustache) should have respect for the depth players.

Bissonette was just joking around, but Leafs fans were upset for BizNasty defending Sabourin. The Senators forward committed a slew foot earlier in the game and is known for sometimes crossing the line. Sabourin has never recorded over 27 points in his AHL career and regularly puts up 100 PIM in a season.

Bissonette eventually sent a message to Sabourin and got a funny response back. Seems like the chirp by Matthews was taken in stride.

The hockey media world loved the chirp my Matthews, with some calling it “amazing” and others labelling Matthews a “legend”.

The NHL is trending towards being more personality-driven, and players like Auston Matthews are a reason for fans to be excited about the future of the game.