Nashville Predators: Is JoFA A Top Five Line In The NHL?

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Matthews Line

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been all over the place this season. Whether it’s playing Leo Komarov for over 20 minutes in a game or getting absolutely destroyed in possession each and every night, there is one constant. Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Zach Hyman are consistently a scoring threat. Coach Mike Babcock is also shaping this line for the future as Matthews is growing in a not-so-linear way. This young line will continue to grow and get better and better. But let’s take a look at how they are now.

Total Ice Time Fenwick % HDCF% Goals % Offensive Zone Start %
Matthews Line 3 37:54






2 43:28





The Matthews line isn’t great at controlling possession, as they’re exactly average. The good news for Leafs nation is that they make good use of what possession they have. They dominate high danger chances and have more than three-quarters of the goals scored when they’re on the ice. What’s interesting is that Babcock isn’t really handing them sheltered zone starts, although they are often not seeing top competition. The second line of the Leafs, much like the second line in Calgary, are eating the tough minutes to give Matthews a break.

The fact is that both teams have given up the same amount of goals, but that’s not the whole story. The Matthews line has given up almost 25 more high danger chances but Frederick Andersen has bailed them out. Moreso than Pekka Rinne has bailed out JoFA. Despite these defensive issues, I still think the Matthews line is better at this point of the season. With the youngest line out of the way, let’s get to arguably the best line in the entire NHL.