Matthew Knies has been “a difference maker” for the Maple Leafs in two pivotal games vs. Lightning

Did anyone have Matthew Knies being on the ice for two massive goals to help propel the Maple Leafs over the Lightning in game 3 on their bingo card? I definitely didn’t.
The jump from college hockey to the NHL is quite a feat but the 20-year-old is making it look like child’s play.
Whether it’s winning puck battles, setting up players for goals, or just positioning on the ice, Knies is playing well above what the Maple Leafs could’ve asked for when they signed him just 15 days ago.
Knies was on the ice for Toronto’s two final goals on Saturday — each being massive situations — highlighting the trust that Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe has instilled in him.
“He’s shown that he’s a guy that can make a play and be a difference maker,” Keefe told reporters on Sunday in Tampa.
“It’s one thing to have the confidence and belief in yourself that you can make plays. It’s a whole other thing to make (those) plays.” Added Keefe.
Of all the games the 20-year-old has played in the NHL, Saturday’s was the one where he saw the most ice. Knies had more five-on-five minutes (17:42) than each of Calle Jarnkrok, David Kampf, Alex Kerfoot, Sam Lafferty, and Zach Aston-Reese.
Every moment Knies was out for a shift, he was noticeable. With that being said, the 20-year-old is now — after everyone, including mys …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

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