Latest development for Auston Matthews a big concern for the Leafs

Mike Armenti
April 26, 2024  (12:45)

Auston Matthews
Photo credit: Kevin Allen - USA Today Sports

After missing Wednesday's game day skate ahead of what was a very important Game 3, Auston Matthews is once again not present for practice ahead of Game 4, with the Boston Bruins holding a 2-1 series lead over the Maple Leafs.

Following a tremendous Game 2 for Auston Matthews, in which he recorded 3 points, including a highlight-reel game-winning goal, Matthews looked much more human in Game 3, failing to record a single point. The reason for his uncharacteristic lack of offense was that Matthews was battling flu-like symptoms on Wednesday.
With a couple of days having passed since a disappointing Game 3 performance, the Leafs have taken to the ice for a full practice on Friday ahead of Saturday's pivotal Game 4 matchup. Unfortunately, Matthews was once again absent for what the team is calling a "maintenance day", per TSN's Chris Johnston.
It seems like nothing is going right for the Leafs in this series so far. Game 1 was a lopsided 5-1 drubbing by the Bruins. Game 2 went much better, with the Leafs taking that contest by a score of 3-2, but it wasn't without its controversy. Game 3 was a bit of a circus as far as officiating was concerned.
Not only that, but the Leafs have been without the likes of Bobby McMann and William Nylander for the duration of the series so far, and Auston Matthews has been playing at less than 100%. What else can go wrong at this point?
Matthews is still projected to play on Saturday night, but if he's less than 100%, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe should probably consider controlling his ice time a little better than he did in Game 3, with Matthews playing over 23 minutes while battling an illness. It's tough to be effective when you're under the weather.
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Latest development for Auston Matthews a big concern for the Leafs

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