Well, the season is done, the tears have been cried, and the gosh darn Boston Bruins are still playing hockey.
There’s nothing you can do about the Toronto Maple Leafs now, who exited with, as we all know, another first round
But you know who came to friggin’ play in the playoffs? Auston Matthews. Five goals and an assist in the series, two goals in a fighting effort in Game 4, and a chance to make something happen every time he stepped on the ice. Yesterday’s Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston supposedly said this, presumably in a radio hit.
Chris Johnston said that Auston Matthews is "going to come back with a C on his jersey".
— Arjun (@_marlanderthews) April 26, 2019
And whether that’s based on opinion or fact, the point is: there’s no much more point in waiting to give Auston the captaincy. The Leafs haven’t had a captain people loved since the Mats Sundin era, and although we’ve probably all met someone who doesn’t like Matthews for some silly reason, anyone with half a brain knows he’s an unbelievable talent (and great with the media, to boot.)
“But what about Morgan Rielly?” you ask? He’s been here through all the tough times and is good with the media and had a breakout season and everything else that you love about him. All fair points. But he’s simply a worse hockey player than Matthews. Not that he’s a bad one at all. But when you really, really need a spark like the Leafs needed so many times this season and these playoffs, no one was more likely to give it than Matthews, and that’s been the case since he stepped on the ice. Auston Matthews is still, somehow, the youngest Leaf, but he likely won’t be next season. With Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin in the mix at some point next year, wouldn’t they love to see the opportunity that they can be leaders right away in this organization?
What about Tavares? He’s still the new guy. That’s about it. Plus I already have a jersey with an “A” on it and I don’t want to buy a new one.
Anyway, this post is only like 300 words long or so, because we don’t really need to relitigate it. Give Auston the C, the next time he’s in town. Or September. Just make sure he does it.
He’s your #1 overall pick and most talented player. He shows up to play in big games and he’s a talent few others have.
Give him the C once training camp starts (or now, if you’d like), and let’s all hibernate until October.