Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matthew Knies will not return to game two after suffering what appears to be an injury in the first period. The Maple Leafs public relations tweeted the news midway through the first intermission of tonight’s game. Knies appeared to hit the back of his head hard on the ice after he and Sam Bennett got tied up behind the Florida Panthers net. Bennett forcefully wrestled Knies down to the ice and skated away while Knies was slow to exit the Panthers zone before returning to the Maple Leafs bench and heading down the runway.
Although Knies played in just three regular season games for Toronto he has been a central piece of their playoff push thus far with four points in six games coming into this evening. Knies was one of the big reasons the Leafs came to life in game one after falling behind to the Panthers as his first career NHL goal ignited the home crowd and started the Leafs push in a failed attempt at a comeback.
Knies suffered an upper body injury earlier this season when he was still playing NCAA hockey but didn’t miss game action and eventually signed with the Leafs before playing three regular season games. Should Knies be out long term it could deal a huge blow to the Maple Leafs who have given Knies a lot of responsibility very early in his career. The 20-year-old played almost 15 minutes in game one and was one of the few Maple Leafs who were able to match the Panthers level of physicality.