The Maple Leafs lost 5-2 to the Buffalo Sabres at yesterday’s outdoor game in Hamilton. After a slow start with the teams getting accustomed to the light snow fall, the Sabres really raised the pressure and the Leafs couldn’t respond. Here’s a link to our full recap and chat about the game:

Maple Leafs lose easy to the Sabres in Hamilton

Much of the fight appeared to be sapped from the Leafs when T.J. Brodie accidentally deflected the puck past Mrázek into his own net.

Speaking of fight, that brings us to Auston Matthews, who got into a cross-checking battle with Rasmus Dahlin during gameplay right in front of, and at one point literally inside of the Sabres net.

That last cross-check by Matthews went up high towards Dahlin’s neck, which is a big no-no to the league. Dahlin was perfectly fine after, so if there was contact with his neck it was light, but I don’t think the DoPS will particularly care about those circumstances. They announced last night there will be a hearing over the incident sometime today.

We all know that DoPS deliberations are an enigma wrapped in a mystery hidden inside a riddle, but Matthews has no history of suspendable offences at all, so he may get off lightly here with the maximum dollar fine for misconduct, but I will not be surprised if there’s a one game suspension used as a reminder to never do that again.

UPDATE: He got a two game suspension

Auston Matthews suspended two games for cross-checking Rasmus Dahlin

All of this is playing out against the backdrop of the trade deadline, which is one week from today. If the Leafs are going to make a move to shore up defence or goaltending, they literally have only a few days left to make the phone calls and start to work out a deal with another team.

The Leafs have a busy schedule this week too, facing the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, and travelling to Tennessee to play the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

So get ready for a busy Leafs news week.

Other News

Mikko Koivu had his number retired by the Minnesota Wild yesterday, joining #1 in the rafters.

NHL strikes multi-year deal with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation | CBC
The OLG becomes an NHL partner for sports betting on both its Proline+ digital sports platform and the new Proline product at retail lottery outlets across Ontario. The OLG also receives distribution rights to the NHL's official logos and cross-promotion across league digital and social channels.

What punishment will Matthews get from the DoPS? (UPDATE: He got two games)

A fine.152
One game.145
Two Games.73
More than two games.30