The Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs are both known for being a part of the NHL’s original six. However, each of them has an American superstar leading the way every single night. For Chicago, it is Patrick Kane. For Toronto, it is Auston Matthews. Each of them was one of the first three selected for Team USA’s roster at the Winter Olympic Games.
They will meet for the second time this season tonight in Toronto. The Leafs won the first matchup of the season in overtime when William Nylander scored to give them the 3-2 victory. Each team is playing significantly better now than they were back then.
Kane is currently Chicago’s second-leading scorer with 22 points while Matthews is tied with John Tavares for Toronto’s scoring lead. Kane is one of the league’s great playmakers as he has 15 assists while Matthews is more known for his goal-scoring. He has 17 tucks on the season.
The other player already selected for the USA Olympic squad is also playing in this game and that is Chicago’s scoring leader, Seth Jones. He is a defenseman that has been playing as well as anyone on the team so far this season. They will need his best in order to defeat Toronto.
Kane is going to retire as the greatest American-born hockey player who ever lived. However, that title might be relatively short-lived as Matthews is well on his way. With the rate that he is going, he could end up being a 700 goal-scoring machine. Each of them is wildly talented and incredibly important to their teams along with the National Hockey League in general.
Patrick Kane and Auston Matthews are going to put on a show in Toronto.
In order for the Hawks to beat the Leafs, however, they are going to need to contain more than just Matthews and they are going to need more from just Kane. Nylander and Tavares are also extremely capable players who can be considered elite as well. It would be nice to see Jonathan Toews keep it up after scoring his first on Thursday as others chip in as well.
Calling the Maple Leafs a high octane team is an understatement. The Blackhawks need to be ready by always being in the right position along with a good defense to contain them. It isn’t as easy as it sounds but the Hawks have started to show that they can do it on certain nights. Getting some good goaltending certainly wouldn’t hurt either.
Regardless of what happens, the hockey community is looking for the two best American forwards to chip in and make things exciting from beginning to end. Hopefully, that leads to the Blackhawks taking care of an elite Eastern Conference team.