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Auston Matthews and Brad Marchand absent from training this morning
Credit: Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Ahh, series…

Auston Matthews is obviously getting a lot of attention in Toronto. The same goes for Mitch Marner, who many people want to link to the Habs this morning following his playoff woes.

Matthews makes people laugh, because normally, in the playoffs, a player will do anything to play. There are plenty of examples of guys who played with serious injuries, and sports purists are happy to bring them up these days.

On the one hand, I’m thinking that if Matthews didn’t finish Saturday’s game, it probably wasn’t for the faint of heart. The Maple Leafs may be dysfunctional, but they know they’re better off with Matthews.

And who’s to say the doctors didn’t order him to stop playing on Saturday?

But hey. What’s done is done, and now the Maple Leafs can only look forward in a series where they’re not exactly in the driver’s seat.

We don’t know if Matthews will be able to play tomorrow night, but he wasn’t able to practice this morning.

It’s not unusual for him to miss so many practices in recent days because he’s sick (you knew that, right?)… but let’s just say it’s got people talking.

If I had to predict his status for tomorrow, I’d say he’ll play. The Maple Leafs will be playing a game with no tomorrow, and they’ll probably be going all out to win. And unless he’s at death’s door, Matthews is better than any other player who can replace him.

Note that the Maple Leafs aren’t the only ones who had to deal with an absentee at today’s practice. For the Bruins, Brad Marchand was also conspicuous by his absence.

No doubt it’s just to take care of his body, as he gives his all during games.

In gusto

– Who will win the Vézina?

– Contract in Toronto.

– Indeed.

– He’s good.

– Possibly.

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