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Opinion: Auston Matthews’ subtle message to Leafs fans at Scotiabank Arena was well deserved

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Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
7 months ago
It must be hard for Auston Matthews and the rest of his Toronto Maple Leafs teammates to play in a library on home ice sometimes. The lack of intensity at Scotiabank Arena can be laughable at times and as someone who has attended hundreds of games over the years, the lack of crowd engagement has been very noticeable throughout the years.
Recently, the Leafs hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning. A rival, a team that has won multiple Stanley Cups and a club that the Maple Leafs will likely need to get through to go deep into the playoffs. The Lightning started Monday night’s game like a house on fire and the Maple Leafs were down 4-1 at the end of the first period, and while many of the fans in attendance may have thought it was over, #34 in the blue and white had other ideas.
Matthews put the Maple Leafs on his back, scoring two goals in the first six minutes of the second period, and before most of the fans sitting in the lower bowl were even back in their seats, the Leafs’ superstar got them back into the game. And it didn’t end at the goal.
Matthews scored his second of the game to make it 4-3 after new linemate Matthew Knies gave him a beauty behind-the-back pass. Take a look at his celebration after he scores.
After the game was over and the Leafs completed their entertaining 6-5 comeback win in overtime (thanks to Calle Jarnkrok’s soft hands), Matthews was asked in the scrum about his second-goal celebration and had this to say to the fans:
After hearing a flurry of boos after the first period, Matthews ‘didn’t want them to go to sleep quite yet’. Talk about a response.
Why is this team getting written off so early this season? The boos rain down when things are going poorly, meanwhile, the best player on the ice finishes an absolute gem of a play and there are still a ton of fans sitting in their seats as the team celebrates.
If you’re attending the game, cheer. Cheer loud, if you happen to be lucky enough to sit in the lower bowl of Scotiabank Arena, get back to your seats when the next period starts and stop worrying about the brisket sandwich in the platinum lounge. Get out of your seat and celebrate when Matthews pots his next goal and if he gets three, throw your hat or apparently your bra, which happened after his hat trick the other day.
The Maple Leafs deserved to hear it after the first period. Even so, Matthews deserved better from the fans after his second goal. Good on him for calling out the fans who stayed seated during one of the most exciting plays of the game from the most exciting player on the ice.
It’s a hockey game, it’s ok to cheer.

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