Toronto Maple Leafs’ Matthew Knies to Miss Games Due to Concussion
Toronto Maple Leafs’ rookie left wing Matthew Knies is set to miss at least the next game of the Eastern Conference Second Round due to a concussion he suffered during Game 2 against the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Knies was hit by Sam Bennett and subsequently tackled to the ice, leading to his exit from the game.
The team has confirmed that he will not be playing in Game 4, and it is unlikely that he will be able to participate in the rest of the series.
Impact on the Team
Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe has expressed his appreciation for Knies' contributions in the seven playoff games, where he scored one goal and provided three assists, based on the current Stanley Cup 2023 odds. Keefe believes that Knies has added valuable depth to the team and made them better.
Nevertheless, Keefe also acknowledges that the team was performing well even before Knies joined, and they still have full confidence in their abilities. The team is determined to make any necessary adjustments to win the Stanley Cup in 2023. But the Leafs better start quickly - they trail the Panthers 3-0.
The Maple Leafs’ Strategy
Although Keefe did not disclose who will be taking Knies' spot in the lineup, he mentioned that having 11 forwards and seven defensemen is still an option. The Toronto Maple Leafs have previously employed this strategy in the playoffs, during the Eastern Conference First Round against the Tampa Bay Lightning, where they secured a series-clinching 2-1 overtime win in Game 6.
Team's Focus on Upcoming Game
The Toronto Maple Leafs must overcome a 3-0 series deficit against the Panthers, with or without Knies. Although they have struggled at home, winning only one out of five playoff games, the Leafs are 3-1 on the road. The team will need to find a way to turn things around and put in a strong performance to get back in the series.
According to Keefe, the team needs to focus on one game at a time as winning just one game can shift the momentum in their favor and change the course of the series.
Florida Panthers’ Injuries
The Florida Panthers will likely be missing forward Ryan Lomberg in Game 4 due to an upper-body injury he sustained during series against the Boston Bruins. According to reports, Lomberg's condition is week-to-week.
Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe expressed optimism regarding his team's potential to make a comeback, even though the odds say otherwise. According to Keefe, his team has demonstrated resilience in the past and has managed to turn games around despite being behind. He stated that the players have maintained their determination and perseverance and will continue to do so.
Keefe also mentioned that his team recognizes the need to enhance certain areas of their performance, but they are concentrating on the forthcoming game and tackling challenges one at a time. Moreover, he affirmed that his team remains self-assured and completely trusts the players and staff.
The Toronto Maple Leafs will have to make necessary adjustments without rookie left wing Matthew Knies, who is out with a concussion.