Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews was hit by Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba during the second period of Saturday night’s game. He played just 7:38 and managed three shots on goal before leaving the ice. Matthews didn’t return to the game after the hit. He suffered a similar shoulder injury last year for the Leafs.
Matthews heads to the tunnel after taking a big hit from Trouba. pic.twitter.com/ItKCJlVYI7
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) October 28, 2018
Auston Matthews Injured
The first overall pick in 2016 is in his third season with the Leafs. This season Matthews has 10 goals and 6 assists for 16 points in just 11 games; good for the team league, and third in the NHL heading into tonight’s game.
Matthews has only committed one minor penalty this season, but his boxcar stats hide a concerning – if likely short-term – problem. His possession numbers are 49.5 percent Corsi with a relative Corsi of -0.4 per cent; not the kind of numbers an elite 1C should deliver. Matthews has 84 goals and 64 assists for 148 points in 154 career games.
What This Means for the Future
This is a huge loss for the Leafs as Matthews is their top offensive player. The Leafs will especially miss Matthews on the powerplay where he is a vital part of their man advantage. He’s currently leading the Leafs in goals so far this season. Matthews is set to be a free agent at the end of the season. The spotlight will now turn to John Tavares with Matthews out. The Leafs will look to either Patrick Marleau or Nazem Kadri to take Matthews role on the second line.
Even with Matthews out the Leafs will continue to be strong contenders in the East.
It will be interesting to see if Matthews injury puts more pressure to sign William Nylander to a contact.