The in-game digital camera targeted on the Maple Leafs’ front till Auston Matthews jumped on the ice for pre-sport warmups, then it adopted him as he rotated round Toronto’s web to emphasise that sure, the younger famous person used to be going to play.
Matthews had left the ice early on the morning skate Monday. Maple Leafs head trainer Mike Babcock stated the younger centre could be a sport-time choice for Toronto’s house sport in opposition to Vegas in the night because of “soreness.”
After Matthews went to the locker-room, proper-winger William Nylander moved over to centre the highest line at observe and most probably would have finished so once more all through the sport. But the backup plan used to be needless as Matthews hit the ice at Air Canada Centre along with his teammates as Toronto hosted the growth Golden Knights for the primary time.
The 20-year-outdated Matthews has 18 issues (10 targets, 8 assists) in 15 video games this season. He used to be decided on first general by means of the Maple Leafs in ultimate yr’s draft and received the Calder Trophy because the NHL’s rookie of the yr in 2016-17, scoring 40 targets with 29 assists.
Entering Monday’s video games, Matthews used to be fourth in the league in objective scoring.
Vegas (nine-four-zero) is off to a scorching get started in its inaugural season, having received six of its previous 10 video games heading into the Toronto matchup. The Golden Knights, who’re in 2nd position in the Pacific Division, had some momentum after a five-four win in Ottawa on Saturday.
The Maple Leafs (eight-7-zero) entered play on a two-sport skid with losses in six of their previous 10 video games, excellent for 3rd position in the Atlantic Division in the back of Tampa Bay and Ottawa.
“We’ve been in our own way, I really believe, the last five or six games,” stated Babcock. “Not playing without the puck right, turning over the puck. We took a run at that and I think we’ve proven to ourselves we can’t win like that, so let’s fix it.”
Nylander, in his 3rd NHL season, has 3 targets and 8 assists in 15 video games with a plus-nine ranking. A herbal winger, he has some revel in at centre with the Toronto Marlies, the American Hockey League associate of the Maple Leafs.
“I’ll be ready to play centre if I need to, but I don’t think I’ll have to,” Nylander appropriately predicted earlier than the sport.