After a two-game slump, the Toronto Maple Leafs (-170) are facing a division rival who is within arm’s reach of stealing the first place position at the top of the NHL’s North Division. Unfortunately, the club will have to do so without their franchise centre.

Earlier today it was announced that the Toronto Maple Leafs superstar, and the NHL’s goal leader and Hart Trophy candidate, Auston Matthews will be out of the lineup in tonight’s battle versus the Winnipeg Jets. Sheldon Keefe broke the Leafs news when he told the media that Matthews would be considered day-to-day. When asked about the nature of the injury and if it was similar to the one that held the star player out of three contests earlier this season he said, “it’s similar but not the same, no.” 

Catch the game at 7PM EST on TSN3 and TSN4.

While much worse than Tuesday’s performance, the Toronto Maple Leafs’s blowout loss to the Winnipeg Jets felt very similar. Without a fully healthy roster the Leafs were unable to create the high-quality chances they needed to score on a quality goaltender in Connor Hellebuyck.

Part of what made this contest frustrating is that four of the Jets’ goals were the cause of massive mistakes by the goaltenders. The infallible Jack Campbell let in three first period goals on three consecutive shots. Following such a breakdown, Sheldon Keefe opted to pull Campbell and put in the newly acquired David Rittich. Contrary to Campbell, Rittich was solid – for the most part – saving 16 of 17 shots for a .941 save percentage.

In more positive Leafs news Nick Roberston looked very impressive. Roberston’s speed, handles, breakout ability, and forecheck was stellar. While he didn’t score, his performance was promising.

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