Is Auston Matthews trying to blend in with the crowd while in Boston?

Matt Kalman
April 11, 2019 - 1:19 pm

Toronto Maple Leafs star center Auston Matthews was pretty conspicuous in his absence on the scoresheet during the Bruins’ seven-game win in last year’ Eastern Conference first round playoff series.

Matthews had one goal and one assist in the series.

He hopes to stand out more when this year’s rematch begins Thursday with Game 1 at TD Garden. But for his media availability Thursday morning, Matthews dressed as though he was trying to blend in with the locals, donning the familiar scally cap that’s popular in Boston (see video below).

The Maple Leafs are in the playoffs for the third straight year, and this will be the third time they started on the road. They lost to the Washington Capitals in six games in 2017, the year before bowing out against Boston.

Those experiences, Matthews hopes, taught him and his teammates some lessons.

“I think the first 10 minutes are going to be key for us and the building’s going to be rocking,” Matthews said. “And I think for us we don’t want to sit back that first 10, we want to take the game to them regardless of where it’s being played and the atmosphere and what not.”

The Maple Leafs haven’t won a playoff series since 2004 (when Matthews was 6) and with a lot of the current roster having endured two straight first-round ousters, Matthews believes the Leafs are determined to prevail this time around.

“You mature, you just gain experience, from our first now to our third year, just kind of what to expect going into it,” he said. “So it’s a battle. I think for all of us, like I said the last couple days, we’re extremely hungry and feel very hungry for the challenge.”

If Matthews can have a big series, that’ll go a long way toward Toronto winning, and him not being able to blend in with the crowd regardless of what locally popular attire he wears.

 

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