Not before, however, making it clear that he didn’t think the punishment levied by the National Hockey League fit the crime.
Matthews will be back at his usual spot between Michael Bunting and Mitch Marner on the Leafs’ top line when Toronto visits the Nashville Predators on Saturday, having served his penalty for cross-checking Rasmus Dahlin of the Buffalo Sabres in the neck.
“I was a little bit disappointed,” Matthews said Friday after practice at the Ford Performance Centre. “I think (it was) a little bit more than I was expecting.
“I recognized as a player I have to be in control of my stick and my intent was never to catch Dahlin up high, but I did. I made a mistake and I recognize that deserves some sort of punishment. I just thought two games was a lot.”