Elliotte Friedman offers insight on Auston Matthews' mysterious illness

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs
NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman gave his thoughts on Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews' illness.

In the latest episode of 32 Thoughts, Friedman touched on the rumors of Matthews' ailment and explained how the condition might improve soon:

"Now, the other question here we've all got is Matthews. They don't play again till Tuesday. Let's see if he practices on Monday. I've had enough of a week with Toronto and injuries. That again, I'm going to be careful until I know anything here."

Initially rumored to be dealing with food poisoning or a viral infection, the situation seems to have taken a more serious turn, according to Friedman.

"But it is weird here, The rumor was food poisoning or some kind of viral bug. But listening to Sheldon Keefe talk on Sunday. It sounds like now they're not really sure or it's worse than they thought," Friedman added.

Friedman was also not sure about Matthews's condition and offered his perspective on the unfavorable situation for the Maple Leafs in their playoff series against the Boston Bruins:

"So we're all going to watch and see if Matthews is capable of playing together. And obviously if he's not there, it's even harder. There's no question. We're on the precipice of an end of an era in Toronto."

If Matthews is unable to play in Game 5, it could significantly impact the team's lineup, with John Tavares likely assuming the first-line center role and Max Domi stepping up on the power-play unit.

Auston Matthews absent from practice amid speculation of a major offseason overhaul

The Toronto Maple Leafs face potential upheaval after another disappointing playoff performance. The Athletic's Chris Johnston suggested replacing head coach Sheldon Keefe, re-evaluating the team's leadership group and potentially trading high-profile players, like John Tavares and Mitch Marner, though their no-movement clauses complicate matters.

General Manager Brad Treliving must navigate salary cap constraints while addressing roster shortcomings, including the need to re-sign pending free agents Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi.

Team president Brendan Shanahan's tenure could be under scrutiny, with just one playoff series win in a decade. The outcome of their playoff series against the Boston Bruins will determine the extent of offseason changes, with speculation set to dominate NHL discussions.

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