By The Canadian Press Fri., April 20, 2018 NEW YORK—Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews has the top-selling jersey in the NHL, according to the league’s website. NHL.com reported Friday that Matthews’ No. 34 jersey was the hottest seller on the Fanatics network of e-commerce sites, including Shop.NHL.com, NHLShop.ca and Fanatics.com, for the 2017-18 regular season. Matthews, who had 63 points (34 goals, 29 assists) in 62 games his second season in the NHL, beat out Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who had the top-selling jersey last season, and Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid, the league’s scoring champion for two straight seasons. Those jerseys may have to be mothballed soon, as the Leafs trail Boston 3-1 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal following a 3-1 loss at home Thursday night. Rounding out the top five are Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. … [Read more...] about Auston Matthews’ jersey is the NHL’s top seller this season
By Kevin McGran Sports Reporter Fri., April 20, 2018 Whither Auston Matthews? That's what some people are asking because the Maple Leafs star centre has to one goal to show for four playoff games against the Boston Bruins. There are knives out for him -- really borne of the frustration of fans -- in what is his first taste of adversity in Toronto. But really, Matthews has not been the problem. Turnovers -- none by him, he's only committed one the entire series -- resulted in Bruins goals. Frederik Andersen has been more an issue. Andersen's save percentage of .880 has him 18th among the 25 goalies who've played in the post-season (just .003 off, ahem, Jonathan Bernier). Matthews meanwhile: Article Continued Below -Leads Leafs forwards in average time on ice (18:06) -His faceoff win percentage of 65.8 per cent is best among Leafs centres. -He has taken 4.25 shots a game, 1.5 more than anyone else on the Leafs. -He is in the offensives zone 55.35 per cent … [Read more...] about MAILBAG: Whither Auston Matthews?
By Rosie DiManno Star Columnist Wed., April 18, 2018 Mom wore a T-shirt with her son’s face emblazoned on it. Of course, her boy is Auston Matthews. That was worth an eyeroll and an indulgent snicker from the spawn. Game 3, it was, Ena Matthews in the stands at the Air Canada Centre with husband Brian, proud parents of the Maple Leaf stud who scored his first goal of the first round Monday as his team wedged itself back into post-season aspirations. “She’s probably going to wear it to every game now,” Matthews grinned. Article Continued Below See, every parent on the planet has the ability to embarrass their offspring. It was Christina Marleau’s idea, apparently. “I think all the wives and girlfriends got them,” mumbled Matthews, turning to tuck his skates into his cubicle after Wednesday’s practice. Unclear, listening to the tape again, whether he meant all the significant others were sporting images of … [Read more...] about The wait is over, and the weight is off, for Leafs’ Auston Matthews
By Kevin McGran Sports Reporter Mon., April 9, 2018 Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews said he learned last year just how different the playoffs are from the regular season as he sized up the Boston Bruins. “There’s not much space out there for anybody,” said Matthews. “Not going to be high-scoring playoff games. It’s tight-tight out there. “They’re a big team. They play well. Guys like (Zdeno) Chara with long reaches don’t give you much time or space. But come playoff time, it doesn’t matter how much space there is out there. It’s all the little battles.” Matthews says players must raise their games come playoff time. “I want to produce, obviously, and play both sides of the puck, and help the team win, most importantly,” said Matthews. “It doesn’t matter what it is, scoring goals, getting assists, you can do other things, like win faceoffs, block shots, play well … [Read more...] about Auston Matthews prepared for ‘tight-tight’ playoff hockey
By Kevin McGran Sports Reporter Sat., March 24, 2018 It’s 9:30 in the morning on a Saturday and Don Cherry is at his home in Mississauga when the phone rings. Cherry answers, as he has for 33 years: “Don’s Bicycle Shop, Big Wheel Don talking.” It’s Ron MacLean the other end, at his home in Oakville. He doesn’t have the foggiest idea why Cherry answers the way he does. But with Cherry — not surprisingly — there’s a story. “You know who told me that? I’ll tell you who told me that. Not to drop names, but I was coaching the Boston Bruins and the phone rang and Bobby Orr was in my office and he picked it up and said, ‘Don’s Bicycle Shop.’ And ever since then, I’ve been fooling around with that. Bobby Orr gave me that.” Cherry and MacLean talk for about a half-hour, supposedly beginning preparations for that evening’s Coach’s Corner, but really just catching … [Read more...] about How Hockey Night in Canada comes together, controlled chaos and all