Maple Leafs News: Big Development For Auston Matthews Ahead of Game 7

The status of Auston Matthews leading up to Saturday night's Game 7 matchup between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins at TD Garden is all-consuming for Leafs Nation, and the activities of Saturday morning are being analyzed closely. 

Matthews was a FULL participant in the team's morning skate, doing drills, etc. with teammates. This is a big development and a big change from what's happened since he disappeared from the lineup two games + a period ago. That sounds like good news, but Chris Johnson and Jonas Siegel of The Athletic report that Matthews “still looked limited physically,” and they are leaning on the negative side of the in/out equation.

But in keeping with the cloak of secrecy the Leafs have stuck to during the playoffs, they still weren't tipping their hand on whether Matthews would actually play in tonight's Game 7. 

As noted by Siegel, they didn't run lines during their morning skate, kept all forwards in one colour, and the skate was just 15 minutes, when Matthews left the ice. Other reporters were looking for any clues as to what his status might be, and they illustrated the fact that he didn't stay later for extra work,  insinuating that maybe, just maybe, that could be a hint that he's in?  

And just like on Friday, head coach Sheldon Keefe says Matthews is "progressing," but adds there's been "no determination" on whether he'll play Game 7 tonight. 

It sounds like we'll all have to wait until the pre-game skate before getting the official word on whether the NHL's leading goal-scorer is in or out for this do-or-die contest.  

 Photo: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports