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Matthew Knies Says Matthews, Not McDavid, “NHL’s Best Overall Player”

Matthew Knies’ outspoken endorsement of Auston Matthews as the NHL’s top player sparks passionate debate among fans.

The season hasn’t started and fans of the Edmonton Oilers are already finding ways to rev themselves up for the battles that will take place this year between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Oilers, more specifically, between Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews. This time, the spark was lit when Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matthew Knies ignited a debate by offering his candid assessment of Matthews’ skill set, declaring him the best overall player in the NHL.

When asked at camp about how good Matthews is, Knies responded, “Pretty damn good. He’s not just the best goal scorer in the NHL but he plays defense too. He’s kind of the best overall player [in the NHL] in my eyes.” That was all it took for Oilers fans, sports enthusiasts in other cities not named Toronto, and even some Maple Leafs fans to jump all over the comments.

While Knies’ endorsement of Matthews as the NHL’s premier all-around player resonates within the Leafs’ camp, it has sparked lively discussions among hockey lovers in various markets, notably because it dismisses the sheer brilliance of what McDavid has done over the past few seasons. To most fans, McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers holds the title of the league’s best player, and it’s not even close. Some would argue that Matthews isn’t even in the top five.

One of the primary points of contention raised by critics is Matthews’ postseason performance compared to McDavid’s. In his playoff career, Matthews has accumulated 44 points in 50 games, while McDavid boasts 75 points in 49 playoff appearances. McDavid’s playoff statistics, particularly his remarkable 53 points in just 28 games over the past two playoff runs, separate him from almost everyone else (except may his own teammate Leon Draisaitl).

McDavid’s recent accolades further underscore his status as a dominant force in the NHL. He has secured three consecutive Art Ross Trophies, along with the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award in the past season. His remarkable 64 goals and 153 points in a single campaign demonstrate his unparalleled offensive impact. To put it in perspective, McDavid outperformed Matthews by an astonishing 68 points during the last season.

McDavid Knies Matthews

Clearly, Knies Is Just Backing a Teammate

The intriguing aspect of Knies’ comments is his unique perspective as a teammate who shares a history with Matthews dating back to their days growing up in Arizona. That they are teammates this coming season and could possibly see time together on the same line makes it logical he would brag about Matthews’ growing all-around game.

Still, most fans would agree Matthews has a ways to go before he’s considered the best overall player in the league. This is especially true when the comments are made following a quieter season where Matthews only scored 40 goals and 45 assists in 74 games.

There’s no debating how strong he is offensively, but he’s no Patrice Bergeron.

Next: Failed Luongo Trade Would Have Changed Maple Leafs’ Core-Four



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  2. Kael

    September 6, 2023 at 10:52 am

    That is hilarious

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