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Auston Matthews out for Maple Leafs Saturday vs. Oilers

Auston Matthews will not be in the lineup for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday as they take on the red hot Edmonton Oilers.

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs
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According to several reports on Saturday afternoon, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews won’t play tonight versus the Edmonton Oilers. Matthews took a pre-game skate to test his wrist he’d hurt while sliding into the end boards in a recent game against the Calgary Flames. He skated on his own while the taxi squad took the ice, but it’s been determined he’s unable to go and the Maple Leafs will rest him.

Related: Auston Matthews Vs. Connor McDavid: Who’s Having the Best Season?

This is the second time in five games against the Oilers he’ll be absent. The Oilers likely don’t mind. Originally, it was reported that Matthews was day-to-day and not ruled out for tonight’s game. Before today’s announcement, it was, “We’ll have to see how he progresses.”

The good news for Toronto is that this doesn’t seem to be a long-term issue and the team will also be getting some other important players back. Joe Thornton, Jake Muzzin and Jack Campbell will all slot in. Those are three key players for the Leafs to have back in their lineup and if Matthews would have been out, the Leafs would have had their hands full with a hot 11-2 Oilers team.

Maple Leafs Game Plan vs. Edmonton

Head coach Sheldon Keefe discussed the game plan without Matthews in the lineup when he shared the news. He noted:

“We’ve already played a game this season without Auston against the Oilers. Putting John and Mitch together, they’ve got a long history of playing together and having Joe available today will give our whole group a boost.”

NHL rumors Jason Spezza, Torey Krug, Alex Pietrangelo
NHL rumors Jason Spezza, Torey Krug, Alex Pietrangelo

The Leafs are used to shuffling their lines and they’ll do what they can to slow an Oilers team that seems to be on a roll. Not much changes. If the Leafs can shut down (or at least slow down) Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, they’ll have a chance.

Next: Holland Talks Complexities of Oilers Extension with Nugent-Hopkins

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