Auston Matthews’ hunt for a 60-goal season ended Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings, scoring numbers 59 and 60 in a 3 – 0 win. Unfortunately for those hoping to see the Hart Trophy candidate exceed 60 goals, the Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to sit Matthews, along with forward Mitch Marner and goaltender Jack Campbell when they take on the Boston Bruins tomorrow night, reports Jonas Siegel of The Athletic, Toronto’s final game of the season. Sitting the three shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, with the Maple Leafs place in the standings, second in the Atlantic Division, completely secured, giving no reason to risk the health of these three incredibly important players.
In addition to Matthews and his 60 goals, Mitch Marner had himself another season to remember, putting up 35 goals and 62 assists for 97 points in 72 games this season. Campbell on the other hand, has had his struggles. An All-Star this season, Campbell was discussed as a potential Vezina Trophy candidate as recently as January, but struggles in net and injury made for a tough second half of the season for the veteran netminder. On the season, Campbell has a .914 save percentage and 2.64 goals-against average in 49 games, but after the All-Star break, Campbell sported just an .894 save percentage and 3.28 goals-against average in 17 games. As concerning as that shift is for Toronto, there is a reason for optimism, as Campbell has a .915 save percentage and 2.59 goals-against average in nine games in the month of April.
- The New York Islanders will be without defenseman Ryan Pulock tonight as they take on the Washington Capitals (link). Pulock is out with a non-COVID illness, the same illness that has made its rounds through the Islanders’ locker room the past couple of weeks, forcing several players to sit out in that time. With just one game left in their season after tonight, the Islanders will hope to get Pulock back and keep the rest of the lineup intact for their final game against the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow night. Pulock has enjoyed another strong season on the Islanders blue line, but has dealt with injury, missing time in November and December. In 55 games this season, the defenseman has five goals and 15 assists, averaging just over 21 minutes per game.
- The New Jersey Devils also announced that forward Andreas Johnsson would miss tonight’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes with a non-COVID illness (link). It’s unclear what illness Johnsson has come down with, but for tonight at least, the Devils will have to proceed without him. New Jersey has just one game after tonight, coming tomorrow night against the Detroit Red Wings. Johnsson has enjoyed a solid season thus far, tallying 13 goals and 22 assists over 71 games and will hope to build on it next year, his final with the Devils before becoming a UFA next offseason.