Zach Aston-Reese draws into lineup with Matthew Knies out: Leafs practice notes

After a day off on Friday, the Maple Leafs got back to work to prepare for Game 3 in Florida on Sunday night.
The biggest news throughout the last 48 hours for Toronto was that Matthew Knies suffered a concussion after his entanglement with Sam Bennett in Game 2 on Thursday.
Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe addressed the media on the day off and confirmed that the 20-year-old would miss the next two games, and likely the rest of the series. That’s a huge loss for Toronto after all the success Knies has had in the postseason.
With the 20-year-old coming out, the Maple Leafs had to figure out who his replacement would be (that’s pretty easy), and that’s Zach Aston-Reese.

#Leafs lines during practice May 6/23
Bunting-Matthews-MarnerJarnkrok-Tavares-Nylander Kerfoot-O’Reilly-AcciariAstonReese-Kampf-LaffertyExtra: Simmonds, Timmins
Samsonov, Woll, Murray@BodogCA @RinkWideTOR
— David Alter (@dalter) May 6, 2023

Aston-Reese will slot back into the lineup in a fourth line role alongside David Kampf and Sam Lafferty. Also in the shuffle are Alex Kerfoot, who’ll move up to the third line, where Knies was slotted.
There was plenty of discussion after the game about Bennett’s play on Knies, and then after with Michael Bunting. Fans wanted a suspension and Keefe said it was a similar play to Auston Matthews’ cross-check on Rasmus Dahlin in last year’s Heritage Classic game.
Alas, we know now that Bennett was only handed a fine of $5,000. With that being said, there could be some type of response in Game 3 on Sunday, Luke Schenn says.

Asked Luke Schenn what the appropriate physical response will be to the Sam Bennett play on Matthew Knies that knocked the Leafs rookie out of the series:
“Well, we’ll see what the response is.”
— Joshua Clipperton (@JClipperton_CP) May 6, 2023

Mark Giordano has had a difficult series against Florida thus far, and just a tough go i …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

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