Keefe confirms Matthews in, Tavares out on Sunday

Published April 24, 2022 at 5:33 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI
The Toronto Maple Leafs are right back at it on Sunday after a razor close 3-2 OT loss to the Atlantic Division leading Florida Panthers on Saturday night. After sharing some potentially good news on winger Michael Bunting, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe also had some updates on Auston Matthews and John Tavares.

Per Keefe, Matthews, who missed a trio of games this week after suffering an injury against the Ottawa Senators last weekend, will be good to go Sunday in Washington. This bodes well for the Leafs, as Matthews is due to pot number 59 and potentially even number 60 after going four straight games without a goal.

The last time the 24-year-old sniper went four games without a goal this season, he went on to score 34 goals in his next 31 games, on his way to an impressive 51 goals in a 50-game span. Hopefully the reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner can find the back of the net tonight to try to help the Leafs to clinch home ice in round 1.

John Tavares, on the other hand, will not be in the lineup on Sunday. The captain's absence is not believed to be injury-related. Per Keefe, JT will be getting a bit of a breather tonight in advance of the team's next two games on Tuesday and Friday. If the Leafs can clinch home ice tonight, I'd anticipate similar treatment for Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Morgan Rielly, Auston Matthews and a few of the other Leafs who have racked up a lot of ice time this season.


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