Status of Auston Matthews announced

The Leafs star missed practice today.



The Toronto Maple Leafs are already without the services of Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly, and they were without the most key piece of their lineup today at practice.

Rocket Richard Trophy frontrunner Auston Matthews was absent from this morning’s skate ahead of his team’s matchup against the suddenly hot Washington Capitals, and it’s been revealed that he’s battling an illness and will be a game time decision.

It's just an illness for him," Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said Thursday.  "It's going to be (decided) on how he feels throughout the day."

Matthews is the NHL’s leading goal scorer this season with an impressive 59 tallies so far. He’s already missed a single game this year due to an illness, but Keefe said this time around is different. 

”That's different, but certainly it seems like something's come through our team here. As you say, in two or three guys at a time, intervals throughout the season versus coming in and right through your room, you almost prefer it that way, right? It's just that it's just done with," Keefe said. "We're hoping we're past that. Auston's situation today is not like that. He's already been through that earlier this season, but this is a little different. And hopeful that it's more manageable that he could be available tonight, but see how the extra rest today benefits him there."

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