SportsToronto Maple Leafs

Matthews’ Illness Looms Large as Maple Leafs Face Elimination in Playoff Series

TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves in a precarious position after star center Auston Matthews was unable to finish Game 4 against the Boston Bruins due to illness. With a 3-1 deficit in the first-round playoff series, the Maple Leafs are on the brink of elimination, facing a must-win Game 5 on Tuesday in Boston.

Matthews’ absence from Saturday night’s game was keenly felt, as the Maple Leafs fell 3-1 to the Bruins. Coach Sheldon Keefe confirmed that Matthews had been battling illness since Game 3 and was unable to return for the third period of Game 4 under doctors’ orders.

Despite efforts from players like Mitch Marner and William Nylander, who returned to the lineup after missing earlier games due to injury, the Maple Leafs struggled to generate momentum against a determined Bruins team. Emotions ran high on the bench, with visible frustration evident among players.

Toronto’s struggles extended beyond Matthews’ absence, with the team failing to capitalize on power-play opportunities and facing challenges in the goaltending department. Coach Keefe opted to make a change in net for the final frame of Game 4, inserting Joseph Woll for Ilya Samsonov, but the move was not enough to turn the tide.

Meanwhile, Boston’s goaltender Jeremy Swayman has been a standout performer, maintaining an undefeated record against Toronto throughout the series. Coach Jim Montgomery’s decision to stick with Swayman has proven effective, further complicating the Maple Leafs’ efforts to stage a comeback.

In the face of adversity, Coach Keefe commended his team’s effort and competitiveness but acknowledged the gravity of their situation. With their season hanging in the balance, the Maple Leafs must regroup and find solutions quickly to extend their playoff run.


The Maple Leafs find themselves in a familiar yet unwelcome position, staring down elimination in the playoffs. Auston Matthews’ illness has undoubtedly had a significant impact on the team’s performance, highlighting the importance of his presence on the ice. However, hockey is a team sport, and it will take a collective effort from the entire roster to overcome this adversity.

The lack of success on the power play and the goaltending struggles add further challenges for the Maple Leafs as they fight to stay alive in the postseason. It’s a critical moment for the team, one that will test their resilience and determination.

As fans await Game 5 with bated breath, one thing is certain: the Maple Leafs will need to dig deep and find a way to turn the tide if they hope to keep their Stanley Cup dreams alive.

Ennio Sorgini

Ennio Sorgini is our Hockey Analyst, specializing in coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Marlies. With a wealth of knowledge and a passion for the sport, Sorgini provides expert analysis, player insights, and game breakdowns for both teams. For inquiries or feedback, contact Ennio at

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