Best Player Alive to Host McDavid and the Oilers

Tonight the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Edmonton Oilers.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have the best GM in the NHL and the Oilers have the worst.

The Leafs have Matthews and Marner, the Oilers have two guys who score big on the power play.

The Leafs have the best team in hockey, the Oilers have a bunch of overpaid ex-Leafs.

One of those teams is the favorite for this year’s Stanley Cup, the other will finally fire Ken Holland in the offseason.

Regardless, it should be a super fun game to check out.

Toronto Maple Leafs versus Edmonton Oilers

Sure, Connor McDavid’s 54 goals in 66 games is impressive, but it’s not as impressive as Auston Matthews, who scored 51 goals in 50 games, which he managed just last year. People strangely forget that just because it didn’t happen from day one of the season. They shouldn’t. Matthews finished the game with 60 goals while playing an elite defense.

As you can see from the tweet above, even in his supposedly bad year, Auston Matthews is a more effective overall player than league MVP Connor McDavid. Matthews is the most complete and best superstar in the NHL since Mario Lemieux and he is the best player in the NHL.

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Connor McDavid scores a lot on the power play, but about 85% of NHL games are played 5-on-5, and 5-on-5 games correlate the most with winning. PP points are nice, but the Toronto Maple Leafs have a six-point lead with two games, and that’s before you tune in to the Oilers, who play in the easiest division and conference, and the Leafs, who play in the toughest division and play conference.

The Leafs – even in McDavid’s best year – do better when Austin is on the ice than Edmonton when McDavid is on the ice. Oddly enough, I bet this will cause a lot of Leafs fans to say, “That’s why people hate Leafs fans” – yeah playa, the truth hurts!

So yeah, I could have used this match preview to talk about the insane lineup Keefe is putting out once again (Sam Lafferty, oh my god!) or I could have checked out the teams’ latest games, etc.

I could have written an injury report or talked about the starting goalies (Matt Murray for the Leafs and probably Stuart Skinner because Jack Campbell can’t seem to play against his former team!).

Instead, I wanted to use this space to point out that even in a season where he played through injury and was unlucky when it comes to shooting percentage (something players can’t control), Auston Matthews is still the more effective Player is when it comes to what really matters – helping your team win 5v5.

Power Play Points are empty calories. No offense Edmonton. The truth hurts.

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In his MVP year, Matthews hit 10 more 5-on-5s than anyone while playing elite defense and averaging 3.37 points per 60 minutes of ice time. This year, McDavid has a measly 2.70 pontes per 60 minutes of ice time on a non-elite defense. (Statistics

I’d expect Matthews to pull through his slump against his closest rival and score his first hat-trick of the season. Of course, I always predict he’ll score a hat-trick, so don’t take that too seriously.

What you should take seriously is this: Auston Matthews showed last season that he is the best player alive today and no one has ever stolen that title from him. Sure, most people are blindsided by the excessive power play scoring, but the truth is the truth.

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