I’m nervous about Auston and you should be too

Friends, I feel like it might be time to panic. If you’re near a cliff and feel prompted to jump, you aren’t in the wrong. As you’ve likely heard, Auston Matthews won’t be suiting up for the Leafs tonight as they welcome the Minnesota Wild to town.

What’s going on here?

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Since being drafted by the Maple Leafs with the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, No. 34 hasn’t missed a single game. He played 82 in his rookie season, he was in all six playoff games last spring, and he’s suited up for all 16 games this year so far.

Here’s the play where our insiders figure Matthews got hurt:

What happens in Vegas (when you’re playing Vegas in Toronto) stays in Vegas, right? Apparently not. Matthews was also a game time decision before Toronto played Vegas at the ACC on Monday, meaning something went down on that West Coast swing. As you know, Matthews is a West Coast Best Coast kid. Maybe he enjoyed his trip home a little too much?

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They’re calling it an upper body injury, which is the notoriously vague term hockey types use when they don’t want to say what’s wrong. Was Matthews ever injured as a kid playing minor hockey? Because if he was, there’s definitely major concern that this, right now, is the exact same injury flaring up.

The advanced statistics also indicate that it’s time to panic. For example, the Leafs have made the playoffs in 100 per cent of seasons in which Auston Matthews plays all 82 games. Otherwise? They have never made the playoffs in a year in which Matthews doesn’t play a full season.

Whatever it is, I’m feeling that it’s time to really panic here.

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  • Stan Smith

    Wow. Advanced stats have progressed that far. I never thought to look at the Mattews/Leafs situation like that. I did some extensive research myself and discovered that in any season where Matthews has played just one game for the Leafs they made the playoffs, so we might be ok.