Young Players Struggling During the Long Point of the Season
Matthew Knies has now played more hockey games in one season than he has ever done before and it is clearly showing.
Knies registered an assist on Mitch Marner's goal late in the third period on Wednesday night which was his first point since January 18. The former second round pick has not scored since the calendar turned to 2024 dating back to December 27 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Not only has he not scored, he has often not found the score sheet as he has just four assists over his past 17 games. One could argue that despite not getting any points he has been doing a lot of the details in the offensive zone that leads to Matthews and Marner goals, but it would still be nice to see him collect some more points.
One player you can't blame too much is Nicholas Robertson who has remained in coach Sheldon Keefe's.
Due to injuries Robertson has found a consistent spot on the third line, but before that he was in and out of the line-up despite scoring goals. He has gone three games now without a point, but has averaged less than 11-minutes a night in those contests.
Prior to these three games, Robertson had collected four goals and five points in the previous seven games, while averaging aroud the same amount of ice-time. Robertson is one of three players on the team with an elite level shot than can score from anywhere, he needs to be deployed differently than what Keefe has been doing.
Pontus Holmberg was a steal of a pick at 156th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and he should have been with the team since the start of the season.
Holmberg was playing really well at the start of the new year collecting seven points over seven games, but has since seen his ice-time and production diminish.
The Swedish center has not collected any points over his last six games, but that is more to do with his current role on the team rather than his game. Holmberg has been moved down to the fourth line as the center and is now centering two unproductive wingers.