TAMPA — Auston Matthews appreciated what a particular evening it was for him and his household on the 2022 NHL Awards on Tuesday.
The Toronto Maple Leafs heart gained the Hart Trophy, voted because the NHL most respected participant by members of the Skilled Hockey Writers Affiliation, and the Ted Lindsay Award as probably the most excellent participant within the League as voted by members of the NHL Gamers’ Affiliation.
However being again at Amalie Enviornment to talk to the media afterward had Matthews serious about what may need been for the Maple Leafs this season as a lot as his particular person achievements.
“I at all times attempt to set objectives and simply attempt to be one of the best that I will be,” Matthews mentioned. “However I feel I might be mendacity if I mentioned there wasn’t a bit little bit of, I suppose, angst wishing you had been nonetheless taking part in, clearly, proper now. Particularly being again right here.”
The final time Matthews was within the constructing, the Maple Leafs had an opportunity for his or her first Stanley Cup Playoff sequence win since 2004 however misplaced 4-3 in extra time to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Recreation 6 of the Jap Convention First Spherical. The Lightning gained 2-1 in Recreation 7 at Toronto to get rid of the Maple Leafs and proceed their quest to win the Stanley Cup for the third straight season.
Tampa Bay trails the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 within the Stanley Cup Closing heading into Recreation 4 of the best-of-7 sequence right here Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, CBC, SN, TVAS).
“After all, I have been watching,” Matthews mentioned. “It is robust to say. I have been watching for thus lengthy. Six, seven years now of watching right now of yr. So I feel everyone is aware of, understands and realizes how onerous it’s. You want lots of issues to go your means and sure issues.
“We performed a extremely good workforce in Tampa and there is a motive that they are again right here within the Stanley Cup Closing for the third straight yr. So I feel these are all simply issues that we will, I suppose, be taught from.”
Matthews is the third Maple Leafs participant to win the Hart Trophy, becoming a member of Ted Kennedy (1955) and Babe Pratt (1944), and the primary to win the Ted Lindsay Award. The native of San Ramon, California, is the second United States-born participant to win the Hart and Ted Lindsay, following Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2016.
Matthews’ fellow finalists had been Edmonton Oilers heart Connor McDavid and New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin for the Hart, and McDavid and Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi for the Lindsay.
“It is good. I am unable to lie,” Matthews mentioned. “It feels actually good. It is particular to have my household right here with me. A whole lot of nice gamers in that room, lots of actually deserving guys. Undoubtedly fairly particular.”
Matthews set a Maple Leafs report with 60 objectives, breaking the mark set by Rick Vaive (54) in 1981-82, and gained the Rocket Richard Trophy for the second straight season because the NHL chief. The primary participant to attain that many in season since Steven Stamkos scored 60 for the Lightning in 2011-12, Matthews additionally set the report for many objectives by United States-born participant in a season.
Matthews tied Stamkos for sixth within the NHL with 106 factors (46 assists) in 73 video games to assist Toronto (54-21-7) end with probably the most wins and factors (115) in its historical past and qualify for the playoffs for the sixth straight season. However Matthews hopes so as to add playoff success to his Maple Leafs resume subsequent season.
“I feel it is a great honor to put on the blue and white and signify the town of Toronto and put on the Maple Leaf each evening,” he mentioned. “The blokes which have come earlier than us and simply the historical past that is launched into this group, it means loads. So anytime you get your title talked about in historical past in a company like that, it is positively fairly particular and one thing I do not take without any consideration.”