With Matthews in town, a ‘pretty special’ night awaits in Arizona

Getty

There’s something quite different about tonight’s Arizona Coyotes’ game in Glendale.

There’s actually some hype.

That’s because Scottsdale native Auston Matthews, the first overall draft pick in 2016, is in town for his first-ever visit with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“It’s always a nice treat to come home,” Matthews said, per the Toronto Star. “I’ll have pretty much my whole family (at Friday’s game), so it’ll be nice. I know I talked to my coach, who coached me in midget and bantam and stuff, and he said they had to cancel practice. Nobody wanted to go to practice (Friday) because we’re going in there playing.”

The Leafs played last night in Denver, where they smoked the hopeless Avalanche, 6-0, and Matthews notched his 16th goal. As of this morning, there were still tickets available for tonight’s game, but it’s expected to be a larger crowd than the average one at Gila River Arena (12,648 so far this season).

Matthews’ dad, Brian, is looking forward to it.

“The fact he’s now going to be stepping on that ice and actually playing knowing 15, 16 years ago he was the one sitting on my knee watching,” he told the Arizona Republic, “it’s going to be pretty special.”

Matthews has already faced the Coyotes once. He scored a goal against them Dec. 15 in Toronto, but it was ex-Leaf Peter Holland who got the last laugh, notching the shootout winner for Arizona.

Related: A plan comes together: Leafs take Matthews first overall

Scroll Down For: