Leafs' John Tavares Out for Game 7 vs. Canadiens Following Injury from Game 1

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2021

OTTAWA, ON - MAY 12:  John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on May 12, 2021 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
Andre Ringuette/Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares will not be available for Game 7 Monday against the Montreal Canadiens, per Dave McCarthy of NHL.com. 

The center hasn't played since Game 1 of the series but took part in the team's optional morning skate Monday.

"His recovery has been quite remarkable," coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters.

Tavares was taken off the ice on a stretcher in Game 1 of Toronto's first-round playoff series against the Canadiens. While he avoided significant structural damage when his head accidentally hit the knee of Montreal winger Corey Perry as he was falling, he still suffered a knee injury and concussion in a scary scene.

Mark Masters of TSN noted the initial timeline for a return was at least two weeks, while Game 7 represents 11 days since the injuries.

When healthy, Tavares is one of the Maple Leafs' leaders as a six-time All-Star who has four seasons of more than 80 points on his resume.

He finished the 2020-21 campaign with 50 points on 19 goals and 31 assists in 56 games.

Tavares is a primary reason there is optimism around the Maple Leafs as they search for their first Stanley Cup title since 1967, but they will have to rely even more on the offense of Mitchell Marner and Auston Matthews if he is sidelined.