All of Auston Matthews’ Shifts – Team North America vs. Team Finland


Auston Matthews didn’t take long to make himself at home at the Air Canada Centre.

His chip play up the boards on his first shift of the night led to a 2-on-1 that nearly connected for the opening goal. Two shifts later, Matthews slid by a check on the powerplay and generated a rebound for Team North America’s opening tally – his first official point of the World Cup on his third shift of the tournament. 

Matthews played 14:20 total in the tournament opener – Todd McLellan rolled his lines, with almost all of his forwards in the 14:00-15:00 range – and he was a consistent threat throughout, particularly dangerous when operating down low. He showed off his heavy shot and dynamic release while putting a team-high (tied with Dylan Larkin) five shots on net, a couple of which had Finnish goaltender Pekka Rinne scrambling. Matthews also had a second assist reversed after Connor McDavid’s goal was called back due to goaltender interference by Mark Scheifele on the play.

Impressive enough that he earned a look on McDavid’s line after a couple of exhibition performances, Matthews looks like a good fit on his wing — that line was an eye-popping 75+% CF against a highly respected opponent last night — and he’s consistently been among the best forwards on a Team North America team with ample high-end, NHL-proven talent up front. Four games in, Matthews is looking every bit like a player ready to take the NHL by storm.

Video via Adolf Hipster