Injured Auston Matthews out for Maple Leafs’ first of three road dates with Connor McDavid’s Oilers

The next highly anticipated matchup between Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid will have to wait until Monday at the earliest.On a Zoom call from Edmonton, Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe ruled Matthews out for Saturday night’s game against the Oilers with what is believed to be a wrist injury.“Auston will not play tonight,” Keefe said, adding that goalie Jack Campbell, defenceman Jake Muzzin and forward Joe Thornton would return from injuries Saturday.Matthews vs. McDavid was central to the buildup for the start of a three-game series between the top two teams in the North Division. Toronto leads by four points heading into Saturday night. Through Friday’s games, Matthews led the NHL in goals with 18, while McDavid was second with 14. McDavid led in points, however, with 40. Matthews sat fourth with 31. The teams, at full strength, feature the NHL’s top four players in five-on-five points: Mitch Marner (19), Matthews (18), McDavid (17) and Leon Draisaitl (16).Matthews hasn’t practised since Wednesday’s game against Calgary, when he landed heavily into the boards during the first period and was seen on the bench having his right wrist taped. He has been playing through an injury all season and skated on his own Saturday morning, while the taxi squad held a short scrimmage.Matthews has missed one other game this season: Jan. 22, a 4-2 home win by the Leafs against Edmonton.Keefe said John Tavares will centre Matthews’ line with Marner and Thornton. Tavares played over 22 minutes in the first game Matthews missed and scored a power-play goal.“We’ve already played a game without Auston against the Oilers,” Keefe said. “Putting John and Mitch together, they’ve got a long history of playing together, and having Joe back will give our whole group a boost.”Mark Zwolinski is a Toronto-based sports reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @markzwol

Injured Auston Matthews out for Maple Leafs’ first of three road dates with Connor McDavid’s Oilers

The next highly anticipated matchup between Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid will have to wait until Monday at the earliest.

On a Zoom call from Edmonton, Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe ruled Matthews out for Saturday night’s game against the Oilers with what is believed to be a wrist injury.

“Auston will not play tonight,” Keefe said, adding that goalie Jack Campbell, defenceman Jake Muzzin and forward Joe Thornton would return from injuries Saturday.

Matthews vs. McDavid was central to the buildup for the start of a three-game series between the top two teams in the North Division. Toronto leads by four points heading into Saturday night.

Through Friday’s games, Matthews led the NHL in goals with 18, while McDavid was second with 14. McDavid led in points, however, with 40. Matthews sat fourth with 31. The teams, at full strength, feature the NHL’s top four players in five-on-five points: Mitch Marner (19), Matthews (18), McDavid (17) and Leon Draisaitl (16).

Matthews hasn’t practised since Wednesday’s game against Calgary, when he landed heavily into the boards during the first period and was seen on the bench having his right wrist taped. He has been playing through an injury all season and skated on his own Saturday morning, while the taxi squad held a short scrimmage.

Matthews has missed one other game this season: Jan. 22, a 4-2 home win by the Leafs against Edmonton.

Keefe said John Tavares will centre Matthews’ line with Marner and Thornton. Tavares played over 22 minutes in the first game Matthews missed and scored a power-play goal.

“We’ve already played a game without Auston against the Oilers,” Keefe said. “Putting John and Mitch together, they’ve got a long history of playing together, and having Joe back will give our whole group a boost.”

Mark Zwolinski is a Toronto-based sports reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @markzwol

Source : Toronto Star More