Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews largely snubbed in NHLPA poll

Photo credit:Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Arun Srinivasan
16 days ago
Auston Matthews is on the verge of potentially capturing two major individual awards while in pursuit of 70 goals this season. He could very well win his second Hart Trophy in three years. And yet, Matthews — and the Toronto Maple Leafs writ large — may not have gained the universal respect of their peers just yet.
The NHLPA released the results of its annual player poll Wednesday and it wasn’t particularly kind to Matthews and his teammates. Every year, the poll asks standard questions such as ‘who is the most complete player?’ and ‘which player do you least enjoy playing against but would like to have on your team?’ among others, with 639 respondents taking part this year.
Now that you’ve been properly inflamed by this news, who is the most complete player? Sidney Crosby gained 35 percent of the votes, Aleksander Barkov finished second with a 14.6 percent share and no Maple Leafs player finished within the top five. Given the team’s lack of playoff success, it is no surprise that the Maple Leafs failed to register traction in the ‘if you need to win one game, which forward/defenseman/goalie would you like to have on your team?’ categories.
Connor McDavid was named the NHL’s best stickhandler, with Patrick Kane finishing in second. Maple Leafs candidates Mitch Marner and William Nylander did not register within the top six. In fact, when it came to the on-ice categories, Marner was the only player to finish within the top-six in any category, as just under six percent of the respondents voted him as the league’s best playmaker. For what it’s worth, Nikita Kucherov won the category, McDavid finished second, while Leon Draisaitl and Artemi Panarin finished third and fourth respectively.
It’s a cruel world but at least the Buds have some spectacular drip. Nylander and Matthews are considered the NHL’s second-and-third most stylish players in the league, losing the category to Boston Bruins superstar David Pastrnak. Ah, of course, finishing second to the Bruins off the ice. We’re all too familiar with that here, but I’m getting word to avoid outright despair in this blog.
What do you make of the results? It feels like given Matthews’ tour-de-force performance on both ends of the ice that he was snubbed by his peers, but we’ll let you, the reader, decide.

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