NHL Notebook: Auston Matthews remains out for Leafs as Game 6 looms

Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 day ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs will once again be without superstar centre Auston Matthews on Thursday night as they try and stay alive against the Boston Bruins.
With Matthews out of the lineup for Game 5, the Leafs were able to stay alive, securing a 2-1 overtime win thanks to Matthew Knies’ winner. What ails Matthews has been deemed an illness by the team, something he’s been dealing with throughout the series.
“Auston Matthews did, in fact, have an illness, he was playing through it,” reported ESPN’s Emily Kaplan. “While he was playing through that illness, something happened in conjunction with that illness and that’s what’s keeping him out. I know that sounds really vague and opaque but we will find out all the details whenever the Leafs’ season is over. He did have an illness and that’s what they’re using as the line right now.”
Through the first four games of the series, Matthews scored one goal and three points. He missed the third period of Game 4 when team doctors pulled him from the match due to this mystery illness.
All his production, however, came in Game 2 when the Leafs secured a 3-2 win.
The Leafs showed they could hang with the Bruins without Matthews, but given that they’re down 3-2 in the series, it’s going to be an uphill battle if they wish to proceed into the second round of the playoffs.
On Thursday’s edition of Daily Faceoff LIVE, Tyler Yaremchuk and Frank Seravalli discussed if the Leafs have any hope of advancing:
Tyler Yaremchuk: If the Toronto Maple Leafs win tonight, it’s Game 7 Leafs-Bruins on Saturday night. And that would be a hell of a way to wrap up the first round… Tonight, Game 6, no Auston Matthews again… You can win once without your best player. Can you win twice in a row against this Bruins team?
Frank Seravalli: You can… Here’s the big question that the Toronto Maple Leafs have to ask themselves: Who’s going to be the guy? Is it going to be you, John Tavares? Is it going to be you, William Nylander?… It doesn’t matter who it is, but someone has to step up for the Toronto Maple Leafs because they cannot score. 10 goals scored in five games… And the best goal scorer on the planet is now out of the lineup for the second consecutive game. They’ve got enough talent to compete. But they’ve got to show more than just Joseph Woll bailing you out in Game 5 and enabling you to get to OT and win… It can’t all be on a young netminder.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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