After losing Nick Robertson and John Thornton to long-term injuries, the Toronto Maple Leafs will also be without star forward Auston Matthews on Friday night for their game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Head coach Sheldon Keefe made the announcement, stating that Matthews was suffering from upper body soreness and is considered to be day to day. The good news for Leafs fans is that his absence is believed to be precautionary and isn’t expected to keep him out of the lineup long term.
“I’m not too concerned,” said Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe. “There was a possibility that he would play today, but he just wasn’t feeling right. So we’re going to give it a little bit more time.”
Matthews played 24:04 during Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to Edmonton and scored the Leafs’ only goal. He briefly skated before Thursday’s practice and departed early, and didn’t take part in an optional skate at Scotiabank Arena on Friday morning.
Some pundits believed Matthews might have sustain the injury while engaging in a battle with Jesse Puljujarvi during Wednesday’s game.
Matthews has two goals and five points so far this season. It a shortened campaign, every game counts and so fans are hoping Matthews won’t miss too much time indeed.
The Maple Leafs are 20-12-2 without Matthews in the lineup since his NHL career began in 2016-17.