Last night, Kyle Dubas was attending the Minnesota-Ohio game, which was the last game for Matthew Knies’ regular season. After this is the Conference Championship tournaments, then the NCAA Championship tournament.
Kyle Dubas here at the @GopherHockey game watching Matthew Knies and Mike Koster with Bill Guerin, who’s watching Brock Faber #mnwild #LeafsForever— Alex Micheletti (@AlexMicheletti) February 25, 2023
And boy, he would have liked what he saw. Knies had a very... eventful game. It didn’t start great, with two penalties totaling 7 PIMs, including a 5 minute major that happened about 2 seconds after his teammate committed a separate 5 minute major. His team was down 2-0 after the ensuing 5 minute long powerplay — 2 minutes at 4 on 3, then 3 minutes of 5 on 3.
But then Knies did everything to make up for that. He had 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist), 8 shots on net, still playing physical and setting up some chances for his teammates.
#LeafsForever prospect Matt Knies crashes the net and is in the perfect spot to score on the rebound. It's his 21st goal of the season.pic.twitter.com/2hxhqokeF5— More like Nikita GREATbyonkin (@brigstew86) February 25, 2023
#LeafsForever prospect Matthew Knies with a SLICK between the leg backwards pass to set up Cooley for the goal. What a play. He has 39 points in 34 games.pic.twitter.com/U0QH8oqj2c— More like Nikita GREATbyonkin (@brigstew86) February 25, 2023
Knies’ season will likely end late in that NCAA tournament run, with the games starting March 23rd and ending April 8th.
Of course, Knies wasn’t the only Leafs’ prospect in action last night. Some of them had good games of their own...
Ryan Tverberg had a two goal game, showing off the two main elements of his offensive game. A good shot, and his aggressive speed.
#LeafsForever prospect Ryan Tverberg with an absolute snipe off the rush. It's his 13th goal and 28th point of the season.pic.twitter.com/ZWqd2MgRLA— More like Nikita GREATbyonkin (@brigstew86) February 25, 2023
#LeafsForever prospect Ryan Tverberg turns on the jets and buries the partial breakaway for his 14th goal of the year.pic.twitter.com/b4eKy1mERr— More like Nikita GREATbyonkin (@brigstew86) February 25, 2023
Brandon Lisowsky also had a two point game, showing off his playmaking and his shot.
#LeafsForever prospect Brandon Lisowsky with the cross ice pass on the powerplay for the nice assist. He has 54 points in 53 games.pic.twitter.com/ZKuC5hIqgr— More like Nikita GREATbyonkin (@brigstew86) February 26, 2023
#LeafsForever prospect Brandon Lisowsky creeps away from the defense and wires home his 29th goal of the season.pic.twitter.com/IIAGrYDGeO— More like Nikita GREATbyonkin (@brigstew86) February 26, 2023
And his teammate and newly-fellow Leafs’ prospect also joined in the fun!
#LeafsForever shiny new prospect Josh Pillar gets his first point since being dealt to Toronto, passing it down to the goal line on the powerplay. He has 13 points in 16 games this season.pic.twitter.com/uKriwINv9C— More like Nikita GREATbyonkin (@brigstew86) February 26, 2023
LINKS FROM THE BRANCHES
Jordie Benn on waivers | by Cathy
Will Benn clear? Defencemen are highly sought after, and you never know as teams looking to make trades need to add players to play their remaining games. The Leafs have a lot of depth, and clearly Kyle Dubas wants to keep them, but also wants roster flexibility heading towards Friday’s deadline.
We’ll know tomorrow at 2 PM if he is still a Leaf or not.
Sheldon Keefe on Auston Matthews’ reduced goal-scoring this season | by MLHS
He has done a good job. The thing that I like the best, of course, is that throughout the pucks not going his way and not falling to the same degree as the high standard he set last season, he hasn’t cheated the game at all. He has remained diligent in his defensive play.
For a lot of offensive players, especially those that have expectations of themselves and expectations and pressures from outside, if it doesn’t go your way, there is a tendency to make that your priority, start cheating and get on the wrong side of the puck. All of a sudden, the team game starts to slip.
Top six shuffle, Sandin back for real, and a minor league move: Leafs Practice Notes | by TLN
Matt Murray was in the Leafs full practice today. That seems like good news as it will be nice to provide Samsonov some relief when they can although I don’t think at this point this is much debate over it being Samsonov’s net to lose. The Leafs can activate Murray from the LTIR on March 1st, meaning we could see him in one of the Alberta games, or the Leafs could give Woll one last kick at the can before sending him down on March 3rd to ensure he’s eligible for the AHL playoffs as well.
Why the Maple Leafs are still looking for a defenceman before the deadline | by The Athletic
As Thomas Drance outlines here, the Canucks are trying to get creative with a Schenn trade, and bring in more assets as part of that transaction. We’re not sure that’s going to work for the Leafs, given they’re light on picks, although perhaps there could be some depth players added to the mix.
Someone like Nils Hoglander, for example, could be an interesting piece for Toronto given his low salary and possible upside.
You know what the Leafs don’t need help with right now? Goalies... unlike Edmonton, amirite?
Oilers have scored 18 goals in Campbell’s last 4 starts & lost them all. 😱— Bruce McCurdy (@BruceMcCurdy) February 25, 2023
Now for a slew of trades, and/or trade rumours, and/or trade maneuvering news.
The #bruins have acquired forward Shane Bowers from the #Avs for goalie Keith Kinkaid.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 25, 2023
In addition to placing Lettieri on waivers today, the #Bruins also placed him on LTIR in order to generate the space needed to activate Nosek.— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 25, 2023
Boston was $425,000 short of being able to take Nosek off LTIR, and so this allowed them to do it.https://t.co/KB232Vq5Du
John Tortorella says that James van Riemsdyk is out of the lineup tonight against the Devils. He's "banged up."— Olivia Reiner (@ReinerOlivia) February 25, 2023
TRADE— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 25, 2023
To Winnipeg #NHLJets :
F Nino Niederreiter
To Nashville #Preds :
2024 2nd RD pick (WPG)https://t.co/ZhgDaGSKb3
#stlblues claimed Kasperi Kapanen.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 25, 2023
GM Patrik Allvin announced today that the Vancouver Canucks have acquired F Vitali Kravtsov from the New York Rangers in exchange for F William Lockwood and a 7th round pick in the 2026 NHL entry draft. pic.twitter.com/emb19y87q9— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 25, 2023
Patrick Kane won’t play tonight.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 25, 2023
From his agent Pat Brisson:
“Based on the current status of Patrick’s situation, we collectively felt it was more appropriate to have him not play during this period of reflection.”
GOALIE GOAL ALERT!
GOALIE GOAL pic.twitter.com/hl9XVANdPp— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) February 26, 2023