For those looking for an update on Auston Matthews, we got one: there’s not much of an update.
Matthews is considered day-to-day, which is probably the best news Leafs fans could hope for here. We’re at the point of the season where a six-week injury could start to affect postseason appearances. The team only has three games in the next nine days even though a couple are against teams ahead of them in the division. It could be worse.
Chris Kreider returned to the Rangers lineup after missing nearly two months with the blood clot issue. Hockey aside, it’s nice to see him make a full recovery this quickly. Let’s hope there are no more serious issues that arise moving forward.
He was slotted on the top line with Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich, though it’s uncertain how long that will last. The Rangers are apparently ready to trade anything that isn’t bolted to the floor.
The big non-injury news from Friday was the trade of Derick Brassard from Ottawa to Pittsburgh. There was a hang-up before it was finalized – the NHL rejected the original proposal – but where there’s a will, there’s a way.
You can read Steve Laidlaw’s thoughts here.
As expected, even with Kreider back, the Wild laid the wood to the Rangers to the tune of 4-1. It’s not a blowout score but the game was certainly never in New York’s control. Injuries and trades will render this team unwatchable for the final six weeks of the season. Rob O’Gara led their d-men in 5v5 TOI while Vinni Lettieri led the forwards. Yeah, unwatchable.
Mikael Granlund and Eric Staal led the way with two goals and two assists apiece. It appeared as though Granlund had a hat trick but an earlier goal was changed to Staal. They each had seven shots on goal to boot. Those two were assembled with Jason Zucker as the team’s top line and, apparently, they’re pretty good!
Devan Dubnyk saved 22 of 23 in the win and probably had a nice dinner sometime in the second period.
By the way, Ryan Suter had a power-play assist in the third period, his 16th PP apple of the campaign, which is double what he had