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The Loop

Auston Matthews brought out the best chirp in hockey for a preseason game, and that's fine with us

September 19, 2019

In 13 days, the NHL regular season will begin, but the pucks have already been flying since Sunday, when the NHL's preseason got underway. And unlike the NFL, it's watchable! Also unlike the NFL, the players actually play! Crazy concept, I know.

On Wednesday night, half the league was in action, and many star players made their preseason debut. Among them was Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, who had 37 goals and a career-high 36 assists a year ago in his third season as a pro. He picked up right where he left off against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday, netting a pair of goals in a 4-3 loss. Insert line about being in mid-season form here:

That first one was just plain filthy. Not only was Matthews' game sharp, his chirp game was too. Halfway through the third period, Senators winger Scott Sabourin got in Matthews' face, and No. 34 rolled out the most tried and true chirp in the NHL. The "who are you?", complete with a look at the back of the jersey to see who this nobody's name is:

When I first saw this making the rounds, I thought it was too soon to be daggering guys like this. It's preseason! But after thinking it over, there is no better time to go with the "who are you?" than in the preseason, when the ice is full of young prospects and lifetime AHL guys mixed in with some of the league's best players. It makes for an easy "who are you?" layup chirp. Literally, who are you, Scott Sabourin? The 27-year-old has never played in an NHL game and he's got the nerve to get in the face of a top five player in the league. Bad move!

Good to have hockey season back. Roll the tape.