Toronto Maple Leafs: Matthews Is Back

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 12: Auston Matthews
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 12: Auston Matthews /

Today, Auston Matthews spoke with Mark Masters of TSN and said that he feels that he’s ready to re-join the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup.

That’s right: Auston Matthews is back and the Toronto Maple Leafs just got a whole lot better.  The Leafs were able to be the 6th ranked team in the NHL with their best player missing 25% of the games, so how good they are with a fully healthy lineup remains to be seen.

The  Leafs will take on the Nashville Predators tomorrow night, and they’ll be much better off with Matthews in the lineup. Mike Babcock and the Toronto Maple Leafs will officially announce tomorrow if Matthews is healthy enough to play against the Predators, per a report from Masters.

Matthews has been out of the lineup since February 22nd against the New York Islanders. He was sandwiched by Cal Clutterbuck and Adam Pelech. The hit looked nasty and left Matthews suffering with shoulder pain.

Matthews Is Back

Prior to the injury, Matthews was having a strong sophomore campaign. In 53 games this season, Matthews has 28 goals, and 22 assists. Despite missing 20 games, he remains only three goals back from the 5v5 goal scoring lead.   This is quite the remarkable accomplishment, and it’s not impossible that Matthews can capture his second straight even-strength goal scoring title.  If anyone is disputing who the best goal scorer in the NHL is at this point, they’re insane.

More from Editor In Leaf

In today’s practice,  Matthews skated alongside his normal line-mates, Zach Hyman and William Nylander, per a report from Masters.

In the last five games, Nylander has recorded 1 goal and 1 assists. Hyman also struggled without Matthews on the ice. Similar to Nylander, Hyman only posted two points in the last five games. Getting Matthews back isn’t just about adding one superstar to the lineup, it’s also about the upgrade he gives to everyone else, not only on his line, but by pulling the best defenders away from the other lines.


While it’s not official, it does appear Matthews is going to play.  The Toronto Maple Leafs will be adding one of the best players in the NHL to their lineup for the stretch run and the playoffs.

Next: 1st NHL Goals by Current Leafs

To those who didn’t think they were contenders to start the season, keep in mind that they are currently the sixth best team in the NHL, and that Matthews has missed more than a quarter of their games so far.  With him in the lineup, the Leafs are among the NHL’s elite.

A healthy Leafs team is a legit Cup Contender.

stats from and