The Maple Leafs open their season Wednesday evening, and will likely be with out the providers of star ahead Auston Matthews.
“I do not personally really feel like I am on the level that I really feel 100% comfy to play,” he instructed reporters on Monday. “That is actually all it’s. I really feel good bodily and all the things, I simply assume I want just a little bit extra time.”
Toronto opens its season Wednesday evening towards the Canadiens at Scotiabank Area.
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What’s Auston Matthews’ harm?
The Maple Leafs on Aug. 13 introduced that Matthews underwent wrist surgical procedure after coping with discomfort when he elevated his on-ice coaching earlier within the week. He was anticipated to overlook a minimal of six weeks on the time, which might have put him able to go across the begin of coaching camp. He’ll take just a little bit extra time earlier than slotting right into a sport.
Matthews handled an achy wrist all through the 2021 NHL season, lacking 4 video games.
“I believe it is one thing that may be handled. He is been coping with it for a very long time now all through this season,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe stated in late February following the staff’s 2-1 additional time win towards the Flames (during which Matthews did not really feel comfy taking a faceoff within the additional session).
The primary signal of a problem got here on Jan. 22, when the American — who has already been named to the 2022 Olympic staff — left throughout a win over the Oilers. He didn’t follow the next day and stated after enjoying two nights later that he had “some points there with my hand that I used to be going via.”
Throughout Episode 2 of the Amazon docuseries, “All or Nothing,” Matthews tells a teammate he jammed his wrist.
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When is Auston Matthews anticipated again?
It has already been decided that Matthews will miss the primary three video games of the 2021-22 common season. The Maple Leafs play the Canadiens on Wednesday earlier than a home-and-home with the Senators on Thursday (in Ottawa) and Saturday (in Toronto).
“He went via final season the place he was not enjoying at 100% and he is gone via this process to be in that place (to play at 100%),” Keefe stated (through The Hockey Information’ David Alter). “We’ll ensure that we’re affected person sufficient to permit that to occur.”
For the primary time in nearly two years, the expectation is that Toronto will play a full 82-game slate, so there’s loads of time to ease Matthews again into the lineup. Final season, regardless of the wonky wrist, he scored an NHL-best 41 objectives to win the Rocket Richard Trophy. There’s nonetheless thought amongst pundits he’ll as soon as once more be within the dialog because the league’s prime purpose scorer this season, regardless of lacking the beginning of the season.
Whereas it’s a lengthy season, the Leafs do hope to leap out to a fast begin after coming off one more disappointing season. The staff was ousted within the first spherical of the playoffs — once more — in 2021, this time by their opening evening opponent, the Canadiens. Shedding Matthews does go away a gap within the lineup, as he facilities the highest line. Captain John Tavares has taken his spot between Mitchell Marner and Nick Ritchie, and the appropriate circle on the ability play. Marner, by the way in which, is a game-time resolution for sport No. 1.
Additionally on the shelf is ahead Ilya Mikheyev, who underwent profitable surgical procedure to restore a damaged thumb. He’s out for eight weeks and on long-term injured reserve.