Auston Matthews Back in Lineup for Toronto Maple Leafs

Auston Matthews
DETROIT, MI - APRIL 01: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs prepares for a first period face off while playing the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on April 1, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that forward Auston Matthews will be in the lineup for Wednesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks. Toronto head coach Mike Babcock informed the media this morning that the American centre would be available.

Auston Matthews Returns to the Lineup

Matthews has been out since suffering a shoulder injury Oct. 27 against the Winnipeg Jets. He was injured in the second period of the Leafs’ 3-2 win over the Jets. Winnipeg defenceman Jacob Trouba delivered a shoulder-to-shoulder check when Matthews was trying to make a move to the net.

The San Ramon, Calif. native has scored 10 goals and handed out six assists for 16 points in 11 games this season. He also has two penalty minutes in 2018-19. His Corsi for is 50.0 while his relative Corsi is -0.6.

He has played only for the Toronto Maple Leafs in his three-year NHL career. Matthews has scored 84 goals and recorded 64 assists for 148 points in 155 career games. Toronto originally drafted him first overall of the 2016 NHL draft.

The injury cost Matthews 14 games. Babcock also stated that Matthews was ready for the normal contact one would expect in a typical NHL game.

“Matthews is cleared medically, says he’s ready to go (and) feels comfortable to take a big hit, so he’s ready to play,” Babcock said.

What This Means for the Maple Leafs

Toronto is glad to have one of its best forwards back in the lineup. The Maple Leafs sit in third in the Atlantic Division behind the surprising Buffalo Sabres and the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, Toronto is only two points behind first-place Buffalo.

Matthews did go without a point in the previous four games before his injury. However, Matthews should pick up his scoring pace right where he left off.

DETROIT, MI – APRIL 01: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs prepares for a first period face off while playing the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on April 1, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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