Following Toronto's 2-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their qualifying-round series, Simmons asked Matthews for his thoughts on the Blue Jackets' tight-checking style of play. The American forward took Simmons to task before answering the question.
"Well, first of all, I mean it's unfortunate that I'm getting a question from you at this point, Steve, but I just wanted to say I didn't really appreciate the article that you wrote about me a couple months ago. I thought it was a bit unethical, to be honest," Matthews said.
"But moving along," he added before addressing Simmons' query.
Simmons addressed Matthews' comments on Twitter shortly thereafter:
Simmons reported on June 19 that Matthews had tested positive and was in quarantine in his home state of Arizona. The Maple Leafs stated in response to the report that "a person's medical information in this regard is private" and declined to comment further, citing the NHL's policy regarding the publication of test results.
Matthews confirmed the report a few weeks later but said he was feeling fully healthy ahead of training camp.