Fresh off a 7-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, the Toronto Maple Leafs held practice yesterday morning. Unfortunately, Matthew Knies was partaking in a routine drill and was seemingly injured.
The Toronto Maple Leafs rookie required help from his teammates and staff to leave the ice at the Ford performance centre as he was limping and unable to put pressure on his leg.
According to David Alter, Auston Matthews was asked about the incident after practice and assured “We just saw him in the back, it appears to be nothing too serious.” Sheldon Keefe also would not rule him out for tonight's game against the New York Islanders.
It’s unclear what caused the injury or how it may effect Knies moving forward. Through 36 games so far this season, Knies has amassed eight goals and seven assists for 15 points. He has occupied the leftwing spot on the top line for most of this season and would leave a big hole if he misses any amount of time.
After Ilya Samsonov cleared waivers on January 1st, the Toronto Maple Leafs assigned him to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate the Toronto Marlies. It was reported after the demotion that Samsonov would not play a game in the AHL, instead he would work with staff to try and find his game.
The 26-year-old netminder has struggled mightily this season, sporting a 5-2-6 record and .862% save percentage (SV%) through 15 games. He has the second-worst SV% this season of any goalie who has played 10 games or more. (nhl.com).
Yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they had recalled Samsonov and loaned prospect goalie Dennis Hildeby back to the Marlies.
After his recall, the Leafs can keep Samsonov for the next 10 games or 30 days (whichever comes first) before requiring waivers to be sent down again. This is the unofficial timeline that the Leafs have to see if Samsonov can bounce back from his struggles this season.
If he can’t come back from his poor play, the Leafs could find themselves in a tough situation with his $3.55 million caphit on the books. Thankfully, Joseph Woll and Martin Jones have been able to hold the crease down respectably despite his play. Should Samsonov rebound, it would help check off a major new years resolution for the Leafs.
The Leafs play the Islanders tonight, and of course, the red-hot Martin Jones will start.
The Islanders are slightly worse than the Leafs so far this year, and they currently occupy the first wild-card spot with hopes of at least fighting off the Flyers when the Devils inevitably pass them.
Assuming that Knies can play, the Leafs will likely sit Nick Robertson despite his recent hot streak.
Game is at 7. Go Leafs!