Blackhawks phenom 'shoots it as good as anybody,' Leafs sniper Matthews says

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There was lots of high praise coming from the Maple Leafs dressing room on Sunday.

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And they weren’t blowing hot air, certainly not when the subject was Chicago Blackhawks star rookie Connor Bedard.

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“He shoots it as good as anybody I’ve seen, he is definitely special in that regard,” Leafs superstar Auston Matthews said at the Ford Performance Centre. “I don’t know him personally, but his skill set speaks for itself. 

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“The way he has handled himself and going through this process, with all the hype and the bit of circus around it, he seems like he has a good head on his shoulders.”

Of course, it’s not just Bedard’s lethal shot, which he has said in the past he patterned after Matthews, that will concern the Leafs on Monday night.

“I didn’t know his game that well before he came into the league,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “I’d say his game is far more dynamic and complete offensively than I had thought. You think of him as a shooter, but he makes a lot of plays, he drives offence and he has been doing that here in the early going, despite being inexperienced in his first time through the league.

“If our team game defensively continues to improve as we need it to do, we think it will take care of a lot of that kind of stuff. But it will certainly be challenged.”


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