Maple Leafs opens their season on Wednesday evening, and will likely be with out the providers of star ahead Austin Mathews.
“I personally don’t really feel like I’m in the meanwhile that I really feel 100% comfy taking part in,” he advised reporters Monday. “That is actually it. I really feel good bodily and the whole lot, I feel I want somewhat extra time.”
Toronto opens its season in opposition to the Canadians on Wednesday evening on the ScotiaBank Area.
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What’s the damage to Austin Mathews?
Maple Leafs introduced on Aug. 13 that Matthew underwent wrist surgical procedure after experiencing discomfort when he stepped up his ice coaching earlier within the week. On the time he was anticipated to overlook at the very least six weeks, which might put together him for a stroll at first of coaching camp. It would take somewhat longer earlier than coming into the sport.
Matthews handled a painful wrist within the 2021 NHL season, lacking 4 video games.
“I feel it is one thing that may be handled. He is been coping with it for a very long time this complete season,” mentioned Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe in late February following the staff’s 2-1 time beyond regulation win over Flames (not together with Matthews). Feels comfy taking faceoff in further session).
The primary signal of the difficulty got here on January 22, when the Individuals – who’ve already been named to the 2022 Olympic staff – left throughout a win over the Oilers. He did not observe the subsequent day and after taking part in two nights he mentioned “I had some issues with my hand that I used to be going by way of.”
Throughout Episode 2 of the Amazon Documentaries, “All or Nothing,” Matthews tells a fellow that he jammed his wrist.
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When will Austin Mathews return?
It has already been decided that Mathews will miss the primary three video games of the 2021-22 common season. Maple Leafs play Canadian on Thursday (Ottawa) and Saturday (Toronto) on Wednesdays earlier than the house-to-house with senators.
“He went by way of final season the place he wasn’t taking part in 100% and he went by way of that course of in that place (to play 100%),” Keefe mentioned (through Hockey Information David Alter). “We’ll make certain we have now sufficient endurance for that to occur.”
For the primary time in nearly two years, the expectation is that Toronto will play a full 82-game slate, so there’s loads of time to convey Matthew again into the lineup. Final season, regardless of a wrist strap, he scored the NHL-best 41 targets to win the Rocket Richard Trophy. It’s nonetheless believed by pundits that he’ll as soon as once more be in dialog because the league’s prime aim scorer this season, regardless of lacking the beginning of the season.
Whereas it’s an extended season, the Leafs hope to leap for a fast begin after one other disappointing begin to the season. The staff was knocked out within the first spherical of the playoffs in 2021, this time by their opening evening opponent, the Canadians. Shedding Matthews leaves a gap within the lineup, because it retains the highest line within the middle. Captain John Towers has taken his place between Mitchell Marner and Nick Ritchie and the suitable circle on the facility play. Marner, by the way in which, is a game-time resolution for recreation #1.
Additionally on the shelf is Ilya Mikhayev, who underwent profitable surgical procedure to restore a damaged toe. He has been out for eight weeks and is on long-term injured reserve.