Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews out three weeks with a knee strain

Photo credit:Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Ellis
1 year ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without their top player for the foreseeable future.
The team announced on Friday that Auston Matthews will miss the next three weeks with a knee strain. Matthews didn’t attend practice ahead of Toronto’s game against Ottawa on Friday, with John Tavares moving up in his spot and Pontus Holmberg centering the second line.
Matthews played the entirety of Toronto’s last game against the New York Rangers and had the day off with the rest of the team on Thursday.
The news comes as Matthews was set to play in the 2023 NHL All-Star Game in Florida. The Leafs play against Washington on Sunday and Boston on Wednesday before getting eight days off. They’ll then have a home-and-home with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 10-11 before getting another three days off ahead of a game against Chicago.
Matthews has 25 goals and 53 points in 47 games this season. That puts him on pace for a 93-point pace, but that’ll drop with his time away. If there was going to be a time to suffer an injury, it’s now, where the schedule is so light. Toronto’s schedule isn’t overly challenging over the next few weeks, and it could be a perfect opportunity for players like Pontus Holmberg and Bobby McMann to step up in Matthews’ place.
So, a tough blow for the Leafs. But the team is certainly capable of playing well without him, and they already had to go without him for two games earlier this month, anyways. The team is 7-2-1 in the past 10 games, so we’ll see how they keep rolling in the short-term.

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