Auston Matthews admitted to reporters today that he had experienced “regular concussion symptoms” while he was held out of the lineup recently, confirming the suspected injury. Matthews collided with teammate Morgan Rielly late in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this month, but actually returned to finish the match. He’s been out since with an “upper-body injury” but was back on the ice with teammates for today’s Toronto Maple Leafs practice.
Matthews’ return will be a welcome sight for Toronto, as the team has scored just 14 goals in the six games without him. Eight of those came in the matinee against the Carolina Hurricanes earlier this week, while the team has gone 2-4 and almost completely lost their lead on the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division. A decision still hasn’t been made on whether the young superstar will play tomorrow night in New York.
- Speaking of the Rangers, the team announced today that Jesper Fast has a quadriceps strain and will be out of the lineup for two to three weeks. Boo Nieves is expected to take Fast’s spot in the lineup against the Maple Leafs, though the injury will once again test their forward depth. The Rangers are right in the middle of a dogfight in the Metropolitan Division, with all eight teams separated by just eight points. Fast was off to a good start this season with 16 points in 30 games and well on his way to setting a career-high in scoring.
- Luke Glendening in Detroit will be out at least four weeks according to head coach Jeff Blashill, which could open the door for Tyler Bertuzzi to stay a little longer with the NHL club. Detroit is falling out of contention in the Atlantic with a recent slide, and could use any spark they can get from a young player entering the lineup.
- The Canadian Women’s Olympic team was announced today, with 23 players on their way to Pyeongchang in February. Among them is Meghan Agosta, who won her first of three Olympic gold medals in 2006 and is a legendary player on the international stage. Agosta is also an officer with the Vancouver Police Department, a balancing act that was recently profiled by Mike Brophy of CBC Sports. The Canadian women will be one of the favorites again this year, as they look for their fourth-straight gold medal.