Auston Matthews a finalist for the Hart (unfortunately so is Connor McDavid)

If we weren’t still licking our wounds from the playoffs this would be a pretty exciting moment in Leafs history, as Auston Matthews was today announced as one of the Hart Finalists.

Nathan MacKinnon (@Avalanche), Auston Matthews (@MapleLeafs) and Connor McDavid (@EdmontonOilers) are the finalists for the 2020-21 Hart Memorial Trophy. https://t.co/78c6pDAmtm #NHLAwards #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/K9UFGAWw01
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 10, 2021

We’ll start by saying this award is probably going to Connor McDavid on the strength of his 100 point season, but perhaps Matthews’ 41 goals is enough to make him the first runner up ahead of Nathan MacKinnon, who is also (obviously) very deserving of this honour, but lacked a signature stat, instead relied on actually winning games in the playoffs to stand out (voting took place before the playoffs.)

Auston Matthews scored an NHL-leading 41 goals in 52 games (41-25—66) to help the @MapleLeafs earn the top seed in its division for the sixth time in franchise history and first time since 1999-00. #NHLAwards #NHLStats: https://t.co/78c6pDRXkU pic.twitter.com/EW5XKKxfEK
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 10, 2021

So yeah, no Hart winners since 1955. Only the third in history. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation