Matthews scores 55th goal of season to set new Maple Leafs record
The history-making tally came in the second period of Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Stars when Matthews one-timed a pass from Mark Giordano past Scott Wedgewood.
Vaive held the record for nearly four full decades, scoring 54 goals in 1981-82. When he broke Frank Mahovlich’s previously-held record of 48 that season, Mahovlich met Vaive to shake his hand on the occasion.
Vaive hoped to do the same for when Matthews inevitably passed him, but didn’t go on the Maple Leafs road trip, which Matthews kicked off with a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday before scoring a hat trick Monday night in Tampa. On Tuesday, Matthews was held scoreless in Toronto’s 7-6 loss to the Florida Panthers.
Matthews likely would have broken the record sooner if not for the pandemic. In 2019-20, he scored 47 goals in 70 games before the season was halted, and in 2020-21 he scored 41 in 52 during the shortened campaign.
The 24-year-old now has 55 goals in 66 games this season, with 12 games remaining and the first 60-goal season in Maple Leafs history in his sights.