Auston Matthews’s Defensive Game Improvement

Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Auston Matthews is a great hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is a multi-talented forward that has added to his offensive arsenal with a slick and modest defensive game he has worked on since the beginning of the season.

The major improvement comes from last year when fans wondered if he was a solid two-way player in the league and whether he could overcome that obstacle come playoff time this year.

How has Auston Matthews improved his defensive game for Toronto?

In my opinion, he has recreated his game to reach a new level that complements the Toronto Maple Leafs’ need for a defensive forward that will carry the load in the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Auston Matthews has given the Leafs a broad look into the defensive picture. They’re already strong defensively, but he has helped improve upon their need for more defending in the defensive end.

He has recorded 88 blocked shots this season, won the majority of his faceoffs at just under 53 percent, and added 76 hits while on the ice. Matthews also leads the Maple Leafs in plus-minus with a plus-30, which is tied for 11th in the NHL.

His defensive versatility has been consistent all season, and his game is still evolving in an elite manner.

With a solid two-way game, his presence on the ice will be more important than ever, especially during the playoffs where he will be the X-factor of the series and will have all eyes on him during that span.

His playoff performance will reflect the more complete game he has played this season, as he will be the one leading the team into battle along with the other core players that have stepped up.

Matthews is an all-around player that defines the excellence that comes with the game, and his attributes to the Toronto Maple Leafs are quite important and will take them over the hump against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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With his game currently excelling, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to take charge of their future, and with Auston Matthews’s new element at hand, this could be the deep playoff run the Leafs fans were hoping for.