Toronto Maple Leafs: Matthews and Rielly Lead NHL Scoring Race

Morgan Rielly’s red-hot start to the 2018-19 season has earned him a spot in the NHL’s history books.

With a goal and an assist on Thursday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs top-pairing blue-liner bumped up his point total to 12, making him the highest-scoring defenseman in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943) through five contests, per Sportsnet Stats.

Here’s a look at the names he passed:

Rielly now sits ahead of some legendary defenseman, and he’s also tied with teammate Auston Matthews for the league lead in points.

Speaking of Matthews, he got into the history books himself.

Auston Matthews scored twice for a league-leading nine goals — tying an NHL record after five games — and helped the Toronto Maple Leafs beat Detroit Red Wings 5-3 Thursday night.

Matthews joined Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, Mario Lemieux and Mike Bossy as the only players in the league’s modern era to score nine times in their teams’ first five games, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. He is one of just 16 players to pull off the feat in NHL history overall.

Matthews joined Sweeney Schriner (1944-45) and Corb Denneny (1921-22) as just the third player in franchise history to score in each of its first five games in a season.

The Maple Leafs have the top four scorers in the NHL, combining for 44 points. Matthews (nine goals, three assists) and Rielly have 12 each. Center John Tavares (six goals, four assists) and forward Mitchell Marner (three goals, seven assists) have 10 each.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are off to a recording breaking start   Certainly exciting for hockey fans after the hype surrounding this team in the off-season. This has the potential to become something really special.