One down, one to go.

The Maple Leafs will get Auston Matthews again within the lineup on Wednesday evening after they play host to the San Jose Sharks, and now it’s all the way down to figuring out the standing of William Nylander.


First, on Matthews: The Leafs have been 9-5-Zero within the 14 video games he missed due to a shoulder harm, however as one would think about, Matthews will probably be welcomed again with open arms.

No. 34 can’t wait.

“Pleasure,” Matthews stated of what he was feeling. “Looks like eternally. Simply good to be again with the crew. Now we have been enjoying very well these days. Simply to get again within the lineup, it’s very thrilling for myself. Attempt to maintain issues easy and do what I can on the market.”

With Matthews again, Frederik Gauthier will probably be a wholesome scratch. Leafs coach Mike Babcock wouldn’t verify that Matthews will play with Patrick Marleau and Kasperi Kapanen (who’ve been centred by Nazem Kadri), saying the teaching employees “went forwards and backwards about 10 instances already.”

Subtracting Gauthier means Par Lindholm will centre the fourth line.

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Matthews was injured thrice through the 2017-18 common season and in every recreation upon his return, he scored a minimum of one objective.

“I’m simply going to play him and see what occurs,” Babcock stated. “If you come again off an harm the place you injured your shoulder and you may skate the entire time, it’s approach simpler.”

Relating to Nylander, the Leafs and the restricted free agent are stated to be only a few hundred thousand {dollars} aside (per 12 months) in contract negotiations, as Leafs Nation holds its breath with deadline to signal Nylander looming at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

“Willie is an effective participant, he’s in fine condition, he has nice edges and may skate,” Babcock stated. “I simply imagine Willie likes it right here. We love him right here and he’s an enormous a part of it.

“And so we expect he will probably be again. We predict he will probably be up and operating in a few weeks. We’re going to play him when he will get again.”

The place does Matthews stand on Nylander?

Maple Leafs winger William Nylander (proper) and Auston Matthews. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Solar)

“We hope to get him again, after all,” Matthews stated. “He’s an enormous a part of this crew and the clock is sort of ticking. Hopefully that will get resolved as a result of all people desires him right here. Us as gamers and understanding him, he desires to be right here too.”

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After Saturday, the Leafs’ following two video games are in Buffalo on Tuesday and at residence towards Detroit subsequent Thursday.

The Leafs haven’t missed a lot of a beat with Matthews out, and have gained 5 residence video games in a row. Like everybody else, Matthews has been impressed with Mitch Marner, who has racked up 18 factors after Matthews was harm on Oct. 27 towards Winnipeg.

“Looks like each evening he will get you on the sting of your seat, even watching as a participant,” Matthews stated. “He has been dominant. The entire line (of John Tavares between Marner and Zach Hyman) has been enjoying very well.”

On Nov. 15 in San Jose, Kapanen scored two targets in a 5-Three Toronto win towards the Sharks.

“I believed we allowed them to play to their strengths,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer stated of that assembly with Toronto. “We fed their rush a little bit bit with turnovers. We have been a little bit bit free. They’re a harmful crew.

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“(Matthews is) simply one other weapon for them. An awesome participant. However they’ve a variety of these guys. The sport plan doesn’t change. Now we have to handle the puck and attempt to make them play in their very own finish as a lot as potential.”

The Sharks in that recreation appeared to play shut consideration to Kadri in San Jose, the primary match between the golf equipment since Kadri ripped out a part of Joe Thornton’s beard throughout a combat in a recreation in Toronto final January.

“Good participant,” Thornton stated, “however I don’t know if we have been going after him.”

Thornton stated he had no points with preventing Kadri final season.

“Oh no, by no means,” Thornton stated, earlier than including with amusing: “We are going to see what occurs tonight too. It’s a hockey recreation. You by no means know what can occur.”

Frederik Andersen will probably be in objective for the Leafs. DeBoer wouldn’t say whether or not Martin Jones or Aaron Dell begins within the Sharks internet.

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