Monday, October 26

Auston Matthews

Mikheyev emerges from group of talented Leafs forwards to dominate through scrimmages
Auston Matthews, Hockey, Maple Leafs, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs

Mikheyev emerges from group of talented Leafs forwards to dominate through scrimmages

Ilya Mikheyev, the best Maple Leafs forward.The best among any Toronto players, for that matter.Mikheyev has had that kind of training camp, as he was voted by media as the most valuable player in the five-scrimmage tournament, putting a fine point on his overall performance with a hat trick for Team Blue in a 6-3 win against Team White on Thursday at the Ford Performance Centre.We get it — the accolade does not mean much in the big picture. Mikheyev’s play, however, certainly does, and he is bound to start the qualifying round on a line with captain John Tavares and Mitch Marner, giving the Leafs another lethal offensive option against the Columbus Blue Jackets.“I thought he was excellent,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Probably more than anybody, he is really excited and hap...
Keefe not worried that pucks regularly getting past Andersen in Leafs scrimmages
Auston Matthews, Frederik Andersen , Hockey, Maple Leafs, NHL, Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tyson Barrie

Keefe not worried that pucks regularly getting past Andersen in Leafs scrimmages

As the pucks fly past Frederik Andersen, Sheldon Keefe isn’t getting his hackles up.On Sunday, Andersen allowed five goals as Team Matthews beat Team Andersen 5-0 in the third scrimmage of Maple Leafs camp at the Ford Performance Centre, a day after Andersen allowed six goals in a 6-2 loss.Keefe didn’t anticipate losing any sleep on Sunday night, nor did the Leafs coach think Andersen would.“I’m not too concerned about anything that really is happening in these scrimmages, whether it’s the goalie or any of our players,” Keefe said. “They have enough enough mental toughness and intelligence to be able to shrug these things off and stay moving forward with preparation.“You would like to see it not go in as much. Fred is experienced and smart enough to know that there’s a number of ...
Matthews feeling ‘a bit better’ every day as Leafs move into second week of camp
Auston Matthews, Hockey, Maple Leafs, NHL, Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tyson Barrie

Matthews feeling ‘a bit better’ every day as Leafs move into second week of camp

Some good news from Auston Matthews’ corner as the Maple Leafs hit the second week of training camp.“Every day, I’m starting to feel a bit better,” the Leafs centre said on Sunday following scrimmage at the Ford Performance Centre.“I’m just trying to take it day by day, do everything that I can to get myself prepared for the ice sessions and trying to get back to the regular routine during the season. I think things are progressing better and better every day.”Matthews’ road back to the resumption of National Hockey League play was sidetracked when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late June, and even when it’s a highly tuned professional athlete involved, there’s no way of predicting how a recovery would evolve for anyone who has tested positive.What became more clear as the Lea...
Leafs’ Matthews honoured with Lady Byng nomination, but could be “more physical in general”
Auston Matthews, Columbus Blue Jackets, Hockey, Maple Leafs, NHL, Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs

Leafs’ Matthews honoured with Lady Byng nomination, but could be “more physical in general”

Auston Matthews’ propensity for avoiding the penalty box while performing at a high level has been recognized by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.The Maple Leafs star, along with Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Ryan O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues, has been voted as one of the three finalists for the 2019-20 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.All three centres are deserving of the award, which goes “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”During a Zoom call on Thursday, Matthews acknowledged the honour in being voted as a Lady Byng finalist — he mentioned being a fan of former Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk, who won the Lady Byng four times — but copped...
Auston Matthews, Coronavirus, Hockey, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs

TRAIKOS: Maple Leafs need Matthews at his post-COVID best

The key to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ winning a Stanley Cup this year looked sluggish and out-of-sync as the team opened up training camp yesterday.Auston Matthews couldn’t find his breath. Couldn’t find his hands. In a roster-reduced scrimmage that was purposely designed that way in order to test players’ endurance, the Leafs centre spent most of the hour sucking in air and stuck one step behind the play.If this were Phil Kessel, there would be questions about his work ethic and whether Matthews had seen the inside of a gym in the past four months. But with the COVID-19 cloud hanging over the NHL’s attempt to resume the season, the only questions were about Matthews’ health.As first reported by Steve Simmons in the Sun, the 22-year-old confirmed that he had contracted the coronavi...