Austin Matthews was kept calm by the Tampa Bay Lightning as they headed to victory in Game 4, but the Leafs star forward looked undecided on the powerplay, unsure whether he should pass or shoot.
, “Not to single out AM, but did you notice his hesitation to shoot on power as well?” Yes. Yes. Me- yes man. They– and this– it’s just– it’s just a problem we’ve seen for a long time, isn’t it? You know,—– overpassing. Overpassing.
And I hate when they do that quick, like, backwards talk and, like, nothing comes out of it. But yeah, I just think– I– I think Matthews needs to kind of flow, you know. And I think we’re seeing him getting closer to the shoot, maybe because he– maybe because– maybe he’s thinking things through?
Maybe he thinks that because Tampa expects him to shoot, he’s not going to shoot the pass instead. But then, others – other players – are also on the power play believing that, having passed so much, they should eventually go to Matthews for the shot. So I guess just, like, have to think more.
And you know, it’s– it’s always said that– that, you know, on-on– that when someone is clicking power play, they– they’re not thinking , they’re acting now. And I think we’re seeing Matthew thinking a bit more. And then, I– so I guess– I think the main goal of Sheldon Keefe going into Game 5 is finding ways– finding ways to pursue Matthews.
If I’m Keefe, I start Matthews’ Line First Shift. Opening shift, I begin Matthews. Like, regardless of, like, the– defensive coverage or line match or whatever, like, I start Matthews, Marner and bunting. Bring that line back. Matthews, Marner, Bunting was a solid line-up throughout the season.
Like, just– just bring them back. Bring them back to the front– in front of the domestic crowd. Give Mathews his time – his time, give Mathews a chance to get some sort of flow. If the penalty starts flying again, turn Matthews on again, eg – give Mathews a quick shift on the fourth line. A quick change on the fourth row.
Or just– just something. Just to get some – something – to let him go and keep him in the game, right? Because Marner– Marner has had opportunities to stay in the game, because that’s a key aspect of the penalty kill. But, like, Matthews didn’t. There’s a lot of stops and starts for him, you know, sitting on the bench, waiting–waiting– waiting for the penalty kill to stop.
Now I don’t know if you want to go on with the idea of putting Mathews on penalty kills. That was, like, two seasons ago. I don’t know, probably not, because I think– I think the units on penalty kills have been established and they are doing– they are doing very well.
But yeah, if you’re getting a moment– for those moments where, penalty after penalty is coming, then yeah, give Mathews a quick turn on the fourth line or something. Even– even just go to all-star mode and go to Matthews, Tavares, Nylander or something. Who does Keef. Just do it more often. Just, again, find ways to get Matthews your touch and I think he’ll start acting more than he thinks.
And then, you know, you’ll eventually start over, you know, be able to– be able to net the puck. But yeah, it’s– it’s– it’s– it’s been pretty mellow for 34 so far, and, you know, we’ve got to be her– where usually 34 should be.