Matthew Knies says he’s good to go tonight against Islanders after going down in practice

Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
6 months ago
After being helped off the ice by his teammates during yesterday’s practice, Matthew Knies has since confirmed to the media today that he is good to go in tonight’s second meeting against the New York Islanders.
Knies, who has played mainly on the first line this season, has had a weird rookie campaign up to this point. The 21-year-old has skated in all but two games this year (36) with the Maple Leafs, recording 15 points – eight goals and seven assists – which isn’t terrible by any stretch, but it’s the number of games he’s recorded a point in that is a little worrisome. His 15 points have come in just ten games, meaning he has gone pointless in the other 26 games.
Now, I know stacking points on the scoresheet as a 21-year-old rookie is not an easy task by any means. But Knies has only recorded five points – two goals and three assists – in his last 17 games despite playing alongside two of the best players in the league, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, at five-on-five.
However, although he has been having trouble finding the scoresheet, the big winger brings more than just underrated skill. It’s evident when watching the Phoenix native that he is not afraid to use his big frame when he is out there on the ice. Yes, he has shown he can make nifty moves around players and can score the puck, but he has consistently shown he can be that perfect complimentary piece to a top-six line. His 6’2, 210-pound frame has won many puck battles deep in the offensive zone, along the walls, and even laid a couple of monster hits on opposing players this season.
Don’t believe me? Matthew Knies ranks third among Maple Leafs skaters in hits this year with 63, just behind Jake McCabe, who has 65, and fan favourite Simon Benoit, who has 70 despite playing in just 24 games with the big club.

Pregame details:

Maple Leafs’ lineup:

Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Pontus Holmberg – Max Domi – Calle Jarnkrok
Bobby McMann – David Kampf – Noah Gregor
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren
Nick Robertson, who played in the last game and scored against the San Jose Sharks after being a scratch in the final two games of the California road trip (Anaheim and San Jose), is projected to be a scratch again tonight against the New York Islanders, signalling Noah Gregor is good to go after missing the team’s last game with an illness.

Islanders’ lineup:

Anders Lee – Bo Horvat – Oliver Wahlstrom
Pierre Engvall – Brock Nelson – Hudson Fasching
Simon Holmstrom – Mathew Barzal – Kyle Palmieri
Matt Martin – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Cal Clutterbuck
Alexander Romanov – Noah Dobson
Adam Pelech – Scott Mayfield
Mike Reilly – Sebastian Aho

Projected goalies:

Martin Jones (TOR) vs Ilya Sorokin (NYI)
Despite the call-up to the NHL for Ilya Samsonov, Martin Jones will be tonight’s starter for the Maple Leafs, with Samsonov serving as his backup. With Toronto having another back-to-back coming up on Saturday and Sunday, we might see Samsonov back in the crease in one of those games.


TSN4, 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT
(Stats from Hockey-Reference.com)
(Projected lineups from DailyFaceoff.com)

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