A very bad night “at home” for Auston Matthews

Forward Auston Matthews usually enjoys returning to his home state of Arizona, but he'll surely want to forget about his Thursday visit to the Coyotes' tiny home, Mullett Arena, as soon as possible.

A very bad night “at home” for Auston Matthews

Forward Auston Matthews usually enjoys returning to his home state of Arizona, but he'll surely want to forget about his Thursday visit to the Coyotes' tiny home, Mullett Arena, as soon as possible.

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Inside the building that can accommodate 4,600 fans for National League games, the Toronto Maple Leafs suffered a surprising 6-3 defeat at the hands of a team that was 21 points lower than them before their date. Beyond the final score, some will remember the individual performance of number 34, unable to score in a third meeting in a row. Matthews finished with a -4 differential, his worst since January 18, 2020, in a duel against the Chicago Blackhawks.

However, in the two previous games, he had finished at 3 and 2 respectively against the Philadelphia Flyers (December 22) and the St. Louis Blues (Tuesday). For the entire campaign, he sits at 15, while his 17 goals are a far cry from league leader Connor McDavid (31) of the Edmonton Oilers.

Terrible in the third period

Questioned by the media after the discomfiture of his troop, head coach Sheldon Keefe pointed out an irritant in his eyes.

“In the last two games, we blew a lead in the third period. We cannot trust the past. We came back from the holiday break and during these two games abroad, we lost control for different reasons,” he said, as reported by the daily “Toronto Sun”.

Keefe took note of the four goals conceded in the last period in Arizona and the adjustments expected.

“There were small details like bad penalties. We were a bit sluggish and our execution on scoring chances was lacking.

The Leafs will try to make amends by visiting the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

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