Friends, hello. Welcome to Friday and the TLN Roundtable discussion. Today, H0ckeyfan asks… On a scale of 1-10, what’s your panic level about Auston Matthews’ injury issues?
I think a 5-6 is pretty reasonable at this point, for a few reasons. First, this is the second injury Auston has sustained already this season, and second, he didn’t even look all that great or healthy in the span between injuries. Things were all well and good when Matthews was recovering and the Leafs were stringing together wins, but things get a little more tense naturally when Auston is hurt and the Leafs are hurting too. The goals are drying up, and nobody else seems to be turning it on in Auston’s absence. I think there are a lot of contributing factors, but it’s fair to say that I am starting to feel a little nervous.
Well the Leafs are actually bad with Matthews out of the line up. It becomes more telling that this team has a lot to learn before it is a contender because of how poor they look without him in the line up. Against Minnesota we lacked that drive that Matthews gives you – not one player looked dangerous in a attacking sense.
So what is my panic level? Currently around 7 – we are fortunate to be in a weak division that makes play off qualification almost guaranteed. But if Matthews misses weeks of play we could end up going on a losing run. Let’s not rush him back though, I want to see a fully fit Auston for the playoffs in the spring!
Image courtesy of our lovely boy Andrew Mok
Scott Maxwell again for some reason
Call me crazy, but my panic level is only about a three or a four. We’re discovering just how bad the team is with him out of the lineup, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; if anything, it’s a cautionary tale not to go the way of Edmonton and sell off offensive assets under the assumption that the team has some scoring to spare (not that I think they would do this, but it’s always a nice reminder: never go full Edmonton). I’m also not entirely unconvinced that he wasn’t rushed back too early last time – so if the team is actually giving him adequate time to heal this time around, why panic? He’s only in his second pro season. If we’re assuming his cup window is still a few years down the line, why get overly upset at what may end up being a lost season very early on for him?
I’m at a 1. You can’t make me care too much when there are four months left if the season.
I’m at around a 2 or 3. Like, it’s on my radar, but I can’t bring myself to be really worried yet. Maybe that would change if we knew what was wrong, exactly — and if we find out tomorrow that he needs reconstructive shoulder surgery or something, sure! Panic will set in! But this doesn’t feel like anything panic-inducing yet. And better to miss time now than in April. Hopefully the team is being cautious and won’t rush him back, so when he does return we get an Auston Matthews firing on all cylinders.
(My panic levels re: Polak seemingly back to being an everyday player? Much higher.)