Tuning up: Teen Leafs living the dream and, apparently, Livin’ on a Prayer
It’s not likely Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner will be backup singers on Jon Bon Jovi’s next tour.
But the two young Leafs, caught on camera singing Bon Jovi’s iconic Livin’ on a Prayer while sitting on the bench waiting for play to resume Saturday night, certainly caught the legendary rocker’s attention.
Bon Jovi, whose band once had a banner in the rafters at the Air Canada Centre, tweeted a GIF of Marner and Matthews singing along to the song and remarked the Leafs duo was “not bad.”
“That was pretty funny,” Matthews said.
Marner “was singing it in my ear, and I was kind of singing it with him. He’s a big fan of that song, he plays it in the car a lot,” added Matthews, who says he has a wide taste in music, anything from “rap to rock and roll.”
That fun attitude has helped Matthews through a recent scoring drought. He had an assist Saturday night, just his first point in a fivegame span.
Matthews has been frustrated with his puck luck, but not worried. He still ranks second in rookie scoring with 11 points, one behind teammate William Nylander, before Monday’s games.
“We’re all living our dream, playing in the NHL,” Matthews said of the seven Leaf rookies. “You have to enjoy this experience, you talk to the older guys and they tell you it flies by, so enjoy this as much as possible.”
The 19-year-old hasn’t tailed off in terms of offensive chances and shots; he leads all rookies with 51 shots and holds a 14-shot edge over James van Riemsdyk for the team lead.
“It’s frustrating, but I hit a couple of posts (Saturday night), so you gotta stick with it,” Matthews said. “We’re creating chances as a line, it would be different if we weren’t creating those opportunities.”
Matthews’ line, with Nylander and Zach Hyman, led the Leafs with 11 shots on net Saturday. Mark Zwolinski
Rookie Auston Matthews stayed loose during a scoring drought, joining Mitch Marner in song.