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Friday, May 20, 2022
Home Sports NHL Maple Leafs' Sheldon Keefe says Auston Matthews' feeling pretty good 'following injury

Maple Leafs’ Sheldon Keefe says Auston Matthews’ feeling pretty good ‘following injury

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said forward Auston Matthews is “feeling pretty good” following his injury in the third period of Monday’s 4-3 overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes.

“It’s a really good sign,” Keefe said. “As far as his status in terms of practicing tomorrow, we’ll see how he comes in tomorrow but today was a very good day.”

Matthews was injured in the final minute of the third period when he took an inadvertent knee to the back of his head by Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce and did not finish the game. The star forward did not skate on Tuesday, but was scheduled to take the day off due to his participation in last weekend’s NHL All-Star festivities.

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“There was a pretty good sense by the time he left (last night) that it wasn’t necessarily going to be a head injury,” Keefe added. “But with the nature of the hit that he took, you’re going to continue to be cautious to make sure he’s feeling good before he gets back on the ice.”

Matthews scored two goals on Monday and hit the 30-goal plateau in a season for the sixth time in his career. There was an early sense at practice that the team did not plan on being without their star for a long period of time (if any) when forward Pierre Engvall participated as a place holder in Matthews’ spot on the top line with wingers Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting.

In the past, when Matthews had gone down to injury, John Tavares would move up from his regular spot as the second-line center to fill in.

The Scottsdale, Arizona native has 31 goals and 53 points in 40 games this season.

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