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Old Posted Feb 12, 2019, 4:11 PM
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suburbanite suburbanite is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,218
Matthews was looking like a solid two way center in his first two years. He was very active with his stick in his own zone always tracking down the puck carrier and looking to pick his pocket. The eye test would tell you that he's regressed in that regard. I've watched him get caught staring too many times while his man maneuvers to the open net. That being said, the previous two years he spent far more time in the offensive zone as his line with Nylander and Hyman was driving possession as well as any top line in the league. There is far less opportunity to be exposed defensively when you don't draw defensive zone starts and cycle the puck exceptionally well in the other team's end.

He needs a little monitoring from Babcock to keep a consistent effort every game, but more importantly he needs consistent linemates that can help him keep the puck in the offensive zone. Marleau has been a black hole and is killing possessions that Hyman and Nylander helped to drive and create chances off of for Matthews the last two years.

Edit: Validation for my point above

Discontented suburbanite since 1994

Last edited by suburbanite; Feb 12, 2019 at 8:06 PM.