Auston Matthews is one of the NHL’s brightest young stars. Not only is he shaping up to be one of the best goal-scorers of his generation, but he’s also bringing personality to a sport desperately in need of it.
The 22-year-old has only been in the NHL for four years, but he’s already delivered several hilarious moments.
From an epic celebration to a savage preseason move, here are Auston Matthews’ five funniest moments with the Maple Leafs to date.
5. Auston Matthews shows off basketball skills
Auston Matthews is a man of many talents. After the Toronto Raptors took home the NBA title in 2019, the Maple Leafs decided to pay tribute by handing out a Raptors championship basketball to the player of the game after victories in their 2019-20 season. The specific ball was used by the Raptors during their Finals series against the Golden State Warriors and was lent to the Maple Leafs.
The Maple Leafs opened the season with a 5-3 win over the Senators in which Matthews potted a pair of goals. Matthews earned the player of the game honours and was thrown the championship ball by head coach Mike Babcock. With the cameras rolling in the Leafs dressing room, Matthews showed off some sweet basketball handles upon receiving the pass from Babcock.
Go behind-the-scenes with the Blueprint cameras following Wednesday’s win as Mike Babcock pays tribute to the @Raptors historic championship with a new Leafs tradition after wins. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/BCligTRUwH
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 4, 2019
4. Auston Matthews stars in “The Nutcracker”
One of Auston Matthews’ funniest moments with the Maple Leafs came off the ice. Matthews made his ballet debut alongside teammate Mitch Marner back in December of 2018. Matthews and Marner both made celebrity cameo appearances as Cannon Dolls in a performance of “The Nutcracker” at The National Ballet of Canada.
Matthews played the role of the excited Cannon Doll, waving his arms around in similar motions to some of the epic first pump celebrations he’s pulled out on the ice surface. At one point in their cameo appearance, Marner jumps into the arms of Matthews, who easily catches his smaller teammate and runs across stage with him.
3. Auston Matthews signals goal after previous goal disallowed
You don’t take a goal away from Auston Matthews. After Matthews had a goal taken away from him in a game against the Colorado Avalanche, Matthews made sure to show the ref how to properly signal a goal when he scored later in the game.
The goal Matthews had taken away was a very controversial one. The goal was waved off due to Matthews bumping into the blocker and stick of goalie Jonathan Bernier in the crease before he scored, but the contact seemed incidental. Matthews reaction on the bench after the play was reviewed and determined to be no-goal was priceless.
Matthews later in the game banged in a rebound on the ex-Leafs goalie Bernier and pulled out a “good goal” celebration for the ages.
2. Auston Matthews “Thug Life”
Auston Matthews got off to a historic start in his third NHL season. The Maple Leafs’ winger opened the 2018-19 campaign with seven straight multi-point games in which he recorded six goals and 16 points. With the ridiculous start, the 21-year-old Matthews became the youngest NHL player to record multiple points in each of his team’s first five games of the season, surpassing a record held by Wayne Gretzky.
After Matthews turned in one of those multi-point outings in a win over the Capitals back in October 2018, he spoke post-game with Sportsnet’s Kyle Bukauskas on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. Bukauskas asked Matthews if he’d ever been through a stretch like this one in his hockey career, and his simple response was legendary. (Video edit courtesy of @TheFlintor).
1. Auston Matthews checks back of Scott Sabourin’s jersey
Auston Matthews pulled the ultimate preseason move in an 2019 exhibition game against the Ottawa Senators. After Senators forward Scott Sabourin committed a slew foot on Leafs’ defenseman Morgan Rielly earlier in the game, Matthews took hold of an opportunity to humble the career minor-leaguer.
Sabourin had yet to play an NHL game and was with the Senators on a PTO. He got into it with Matthews after the whistle and the Maple Leafs superstar decided to look at the back of Sabourin’s jersey to try and figure out who he is.
Auston Matthews trying to figure out who this guy is pic.twitter.com/CyMZWhowja
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) September 19, 2019