Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews said after Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins that the team must "hold each other accountable" as they look to improve on their 5-4-2 record through 11 games.
The 22-year-old refused to put the blame on the team's off-season roster turnover for their slow start, calling on the entire team to improve.
"It’s just not good enough," Matthews said. "We need to be better. I think it comes from the leadership group. I need to be better. All of us need to be better. I think we just need to look each other in the eye and hold each other accountable."
Matthews leads the Maple Leafs with eight goals in 11 games this season and sits second in points (11) behind Mitch Marner. Both were both held off the scoresheet in Tuesday's loss, which came three days after the Leafs defeated the Bruins 3-2 in overtime.
Toronto was tied 2-2 entering the third period on Tuesday night, but failed pull ahead in the final frame.
"We need to find a way to," Matthews said of the team's inability to score in the third. "Second half of a back-to-back, obviously we're in a good spot, 2-2 in the third, we've got to find a way. We knew we're going to have to grind it out, keeping it simple was probably the play for us tonight and I think at times we did that and at times we didn't but we're in a good spot going into the third period and obvuously they got a big goal there and we couldn't climb our way back."
The Maple Leafs, who are currently without captain John Tavares due to a broken finger, will host the San Jose Sharks (3-5-1) on Friday.