Yesterday, Scott Wheeler published a real interesting article on Matthew Knies: Matthew Knies has a decision to make: Sign with the Maple Leafs or return to college?

It has a combination of things. It is part interview with Knies and those around him, and part analysis of the strengths of his game.

If you’re hoping it will give you a clue which way Knies is leaning on joining the Toronto Maple Leafs, you won’t find anything in there. It sounds like he is unsure, from that. We heard over the weekend that Knies was going to meet with the Leafs soon, and then make his decision. While there were some rumours about which way he was leaning (and y’all Leafs fans need to fucking CHILL over all of this), it’s not been clear.

Thanks to Dreger, we now know that the two sides will meet sometime today.

The reasons why he might want to stay in college for at least one more year? You can get a bit of a sense of it from the Wheeler profile... it’s a big, sudden change and a challenging one for him. How much playing time he’ll get down the stretch with less than 10 games to go is uncertain, though the Leafs could presumably reassure him there if they wanted. There’s also the standard “unfinished business” of wanting another shot at a championship with Minnesota, and wanting another year’s worth of education.

On the flip side, there’s the question of why SHOULD he sign his ELC now? Well, he’ll get to free agency and get a big chunk of money as a professional hockey league player sooner rather than later. That ain’t nothing. He’ll also get some NHL player time sooner rather than later, including potentially in the playoffs — that also ain’t nothing.

What may also be a big reason for him may have been revealed by Knies himself, in the Wheeler article. He seems to greatly value his work with the Leafs’ development team, and signing would allow him to work with them more often and more directly:

Once his freshman year started, the Leafs helped guide him off the ice as well. Throughout the season, Hayley Wickenheiser and members of the Leafs’ development team reached out to him once or twice a month to do video work and give him pointers on where he could improve his game, but also just to lend an ear as he navigated a busy schedule and a couple of surprises — including a much different first Olympics experience than the one he imagined for himself much later in his career.

“(Wickenheiser’s) been really supportive of me,” Knies said. “She’s always there when I need somebody.”

How are the Atlantic standings going to play out? | by Katya

Maple Leafs can’t beat Craig Anderson | by elseldo

Kerfoot has had a more consistent role this year, but still remains the Leafs’ Swiss Army Knife | by TLN

Settling on a shutdown defense pairing, Mitch Marner’s ice-time uptick, and other notes entering the final 10 | by MLHS

Does late-season performance predict a team’s playoff fate? | by Daily Faceoff

NHL Playoff Push: Why Vegas is the team to watch right now | by Sportsnet

Player reps given findings from investigation into Fehr’s handling of Beach allegations | by Rick Westhead

The Vegas Golden Knights will be an interesting team down the stretch. They’re fighting for one of the final playoff spots in the West, but they now have a healthy Eichel AND Stone in their lineup. But they do also have a lot of other players on LTIR.

Malkin got a four game suspension which means the NHL DoPS is biased in the Leafs favour because Matthews only got two games for his crosschecking suspension. That’s how this works, right?

Frederik Andersen breaking out the dirty dangles.

Evander Kane starts a crazy fight in Minnesota last night.

Have a happy Wednesday!