The Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres in St. Thomas, Ontario by the score of 5-2. Conor Timmins scored twice and had an assist, but it was the kids who were turning heads. Matthew Knies was dominant over parts of the game and facilitated a Sam Lafferty shorthanded goal.
Easton Cowan already looks pro-ready (let's say AHL for now) with his consistency, reliability, tenacity, and quickness. He also looks like a highschooler and not eligible to play pro yet so maybe we can pump the brakes on his rise. Knies had two assists in the game, Cowan had one.
The other big storyline was the disappearance of John Klingberg late in the first period. After the game, Keefe relayed the update that Klingberg was feeling tightness and was pulled for precautions. Calle Järnkrok and Dylan Gambrell are also recently injured players. I'm quite worried for both the forwards for two different reasons.
For Järnkrok, it took him a long time into the season to get up to scoring speed after an injury slowed his start. Once he got going, he was very good on the third line, so hopefully this year he can have a full and consistent season. For Gambrell, he was diagnosed with a concussion which is keeping him out indefinitely, so that's a big hit to the depth forward who was hoping to crack the lineup. We all know stories of what misfortune or pushing over the line for someone trying to crack a job can do. I only hope Gambrell takes his time to get healthy and ultimately gets a shot on the Leafs. I think he's a good player.
Curtis McElhinney also showed up and is rumoured to be working with the team around goaltending.
Highlights and postgame interviews are below for the game. No boxscore since the NHL and their new website aren't ready for the season. Lots of kinks.
Some former PHF players have told THN that they've gotten tryouts with various PWHL teams. Unlike what the headline or tweet says, these are some of the tryouts (and exclusively PHF players), not the first ones.
Can I say it's a shame plenty of really good players just prefer to stay on mediocre teams? Kadri doesn't count because he's a Stanley Cup champion.