Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews won't play in Wednesday's game against the Nashville Predators due to an undisclosed injury.
Matthews participated in Toronto's optional skate prior to the game but head coach Sheldon Keefe ruled him out of the contest and said he is considered day-to-day. Keefe did not specify what the injury was, but said the ailment has been bothering Matthews "for a while."
"He's obviously out there putting in lots of work and all that so he's not too far away and is improving daily," Keefe told reporters, per Sports Illustrated's David Alter.
Sheldon Keefe says the ailment for Auston Matthews is something that has “been bothering him for a while.”
— David Alter (@dalter) January 11, 2023
Matthews hasn't been the same dominant offensive force he was in his Hart Trophy-winning 2021-22 campaign, but still has 20 goals and 27 assists through 41 games played this season. The 25-year-old has picked up at least one point in 17 of his past 19 contests, scoring 11 times over that stretch.
With Matthews out of the lineup, forward Bobby McMann will make his NHL debut against the Predators. McMann, 26, has eight goals and seven assists in 17 games with the AHL's Toronto Marlies this season. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound Wainwright, Alta., native was named the AHL Player of the Week on Monday after registering six points over his previous three games. He finished second on the Marlies last season with 24 goals.
McMann will slot in on the third line alongside Alex Kerfoot and David Kampf. William Nylander will move to the middle and centre a line with Michael Bunting and Pierre Engvall.
While we wait for official word on Matthews' status, here were the Lines, Pairings and PP Units in Tuesday's practice and tonight's projected lineup if Matthews is OUT. pic.twitter.com/SjoIyHgCvr
— Daily Faceoff - Fantasy (@DFOFantasy) January 11, 2023
The Maple Leafs currently sit second in the Atlantic Division with a record of 25-9-7. They're tied for the second-most points in the league but trail the rival Boston Bruins by 11 points for first place in both the division and the NHL as a whole.
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