The post Why Matthew Knies is the Maple Leafs’ Postseason Powerhouse appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

In Tuesday night’s win over the Boston Bruins, Matthew Knies scored the game-winner to keep his Toronto Maple Leafs alive to play one more game. He’s the only Maple Leafs player in five games this season who’s scored more than once.

Perhaps that should not be surprising. He seems to show up regularly in overtime games. His presence in crucial moments during last postseason’s matchups against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers was redundant. He always seemed somewhere in the mix when his team scored a goal.

Related: No-Move Clauses a Massive Issue for Maple Leafs and Marner’s Future

Knies Seems to Be Built for the Overtime

His scoring in both this postseason and last postseason shows his potential as a solid player, especially during the postseason overtime action. Knies has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, often finding himself at the center of scoring plays. His enthusiasm and positive energy are palpable, evident in every snapshot of Maple Leafs’ goals where Knies is smiling and rushing in for celebrations.

Matthew Knies Maple Leafs OT goal

But what sets this young player apart and makes him such a solid overtime player? It’s his combination of skill, determination, and size. These three attributes give him the unique ability to seize crucial opportunities. Whether driving to the net, creating space, or capitalizing on loose pucks, Knies has repeatedly shown that he thrives under pressure. He seems to love it. He’s become a valuable asset for the Maple Leafs in overtime situations.

So What Makes Knies So Special at This Time of the Year?

In a recent segment of Kyper and Bourne, the twosome chatted about how much Knies was progressing game by game and how fitting it was for him to score the Game 5 OT winner. They noted that he’s shown this same propensity over his entire pro career to be an overtime hero.

Knies seems built for the postseason due to several key factors. Here are four of them:

Factor One: Knies Has a Knack for Overtime Heroics

Knies has shown a propensity for being an overtime hero throughout his career. He was on the ice for every overtime winner against Tampa Bay last season and also (as noted) scored the overtime winner Tuesday night. Whatever that skill might be called, he has it—and that’s the ability to come through in crucial moments. In college at the University of Minnesota, he scored three overtime winners in 13 games. He’s always shown himself to be a clutch performer under pressure.

Factor Two: Knies Drives to the Net

In a video where Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe talked about Knies, he was described as the best player on the team when it comes to driving to the net. Knies has a knack for creating opportunities by finding a loose puck or creating holes in the defense. His ability to drive to the net and create scoring chances makes him a valuable asset in high-stakes postseason games.

Sheldon Keefe, Maple Leafs head coach

Factor Three: Knies Has Progressed to the Point Where He’s Had Consistent Impact

Throughout the series, Kyper and Bourne note that Knies has steadily improved. He’s now at the point where he’s making an impact game by game. His quick improvement culminated in a terrific performance in Game 5, where he scored the overtime winner. His ability to step up in crucial moments and contribute to his team’s success demonstrates his readiness for postseason play.

Factor Four: Knies Has Shown Fearlessness and Confidence

Knies has shown fearlessness and confidence on the ice, even as a young player. He’s not intimidated by the competition or the magnitude of the moment. For example, he’s shown willingness to step in and stand up for his teammates. Specifically, he intervened during a confrontation between David Pastrnak and Morgan Reilly.

In that exchange, he laughingly got in Pastrnak’s face as if to say, “If you want to go with someone, pick me!” That fearless attitude and confidence bodes well for his performance in high-pressure playoff situations.

The Bottom Line: Knies Is a Clutch Performer

Knies has emerged as a pivotal figure for the Maple Leafs, particularly in high-stakes postseason games. His track record as a clutch performer is evident from his consistent presence in moments of success during the postseason games he’s played in.

His steady progression and fearless demeanor show Knies’ potential to shine in critical moments, further solidifying his role as a pivotal contributor to the team’s success.

Related: Matthews-Less Maple Leafs Win Game 5: Knies and Woll the Heroes

The post Why Matthew Knies is the Maple Leafs’ Postseason Powerhouse appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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