The Toronto Maple Leafs got a big scare on Saturday night and just watching the video replay of the incident makes things look very bad.
The Maple Leafs were facing off against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night and after a 4 - 2 win from the Maple Leafs over the Jets earlier in the week there seemed to be plenty of bad blood on the ice. Things were very chippy on both sides and the game saw plenty of physical, and at times dirty, play but the major moment came roughly midway through the game.
Toronto Maple Leafs star forward Auston Matthews was battling hard for position in the Winnipeg Jets zone when he broke free with the puck and began streaking towards the Jets net, but that is when disaster struck for the Maple Leafs. That disaster came in the form of a streaking Jacob Trouba, who had seemingly lined up Matthews from several strides away, when the veteran Jets defenseman delivered a punishing shoulder to shoulder body check to knock Matthews off of the puck.
It was immediately apparent that Matthews was in a bad way as he quickly skated back around the Jets net and hurriedly began heading back towards the Maple Leafs bench. All the while Matthews could be seen hunched over in pain, seemingly favoring his left shoulder in the process, and if his body language is any indication of how badly he was hurt on the play things look pretty bad. Matthews appeared to be in agony and my first thought upon watching his facial expressions and body language was that he had either just had his shoulder knocked out of socket, or perhaps had even suffered a broken bone of some sort. That is of course however purely speculation on my part and we likely wont hear more until well after the game or perhaps even tomorrow.
Losing Matthews at any point in the season is a nightmare situation for the Leafs but with the ongoing contract dispute with William Nylander, a dispute that is keeping him off the ice at this time, the timing couldn't be any worse. There has been no update at this point from the Toronto Maple Leafs organization and that will of course be a source of major concern for Leaf fans, but we will bring you more details as soon as they become available.
Update: No surprise here but the Leafs have confirmed Matthews will not return to the game this evening.