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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Auston Matthews Out Up to a Month with Shoulder Injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss up to a month of action after injuring his left shoulder on Saturday and was officially placed on injured reserve on Monday.

While the injury will keep Matthews off the ice for significant time, surgery will not be needed. Matthews was injured on a hit by Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba.

“It’s frustrating, but there’s not much you can do,” Matthews said (h/t NHL.com). “It [stinks], but it’s part of the game. I’m going to work as hard as I can to get back as soon as possible when I’m feeling back to myself. We’ve got a lot of depth on this team, and no doubt everybody is going to be fine and step up.”

“I knew the guy was coming,” Matthews said. “Trying to get a shot off, you don’t really know what to expect because you’re so close to the goalie, so you don’t know if you’re going to get hit going into the goalie. Obviously, he took the body, which is what you’re supposed to do, and he caught me at the right angle.”

“You’ve just got to let it heal, I guess, and do everything I can to stay in shape,” Matthews said. “Obviously, it’s not the position you want to be in, but at least you can still kind of skate once it starts to heal a little bit and feel better, get back on the ice, and try to stay in game shape.

“Regardless of the situation, your health comes first. It’s early (in the season), so you want to come back when you’re feeling ready to go and back to 100 percent.”

Eastern Conference

Lightning Shopping Slater Koekkoek

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping defenseman, and former first round pick, Slater Koekkoek, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Tampa Bay is now motivated to trade away their once prized prospect, who is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint.

Koekkoek is waiver eligible and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2019.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky Will Not Dress Due To Team Incident

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that veteran goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not dress for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to what is being described as an “incident”.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated the following:

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

In corresponding moves, the Blue Jackets has recalled Jean-Francois Berube, and placed both Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Hannikainen on injured reserve.

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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Frederik Andersen Targeting Saturday Return

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Frederik Andersen said that he is eyeing the team’s upcoming game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday to make his return to the ice.

Andersen was placed on injured reserve on January 3rd, retroactive to December 23rd, and hasn’t played since December 22nd.

Despite his goal of a Saturday return, Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock is looking towards Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche as the best time for his return.

Babcock pours a little cold water on Andersen’s reveal, saying it might be Monday vs. Colorado. Hmmm…— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) January 9, 2019

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