TORONTO – Hello from Hogtown, the “Big Smoke”, as some of the locals still call it here. Toronto is obviously a mecca for hockey, and for the next three days I get to be in this mecca of hockey and the other mecca of hockey – Montreal. So, life is good here in my $44 a night Airbnb (a video review of the one I’m in here, at that price, is at the end of this fine piece of literature).
Avs at Maple Leafs tomorrow night. The team is squired away in their fancy digs and I’m in mine, while the Leafs are playing, as I type, in Philadelphia. So, they’ll play the second of a back-to-back at home against the Avs. Michael Hutchinson, who has yet to win a game in net for the Leafs this season, is slated to start for Toronto. Which, makes me all the more nervous for this game tomorrow, from an Avs perspective. One of the last knocks I have against the Avs is their still-occasional tendency to let up a bit after some success, often against opponents that are supposedly short-handed.
I guess the big news of the day I have is: I was told by a trusted source that there is a 100 percent chance Gabe Landeskog will play on this three-game road trip. What remains less than 100 percent: Which game will he return? But, you can take it to the bank that No. 92 will play in at least one of the games, at Toronto, at Montreal or at Boston. Or, it might be two out of the three. Or, three out of the three.
I’m hearing that it’s more likely he’ll make the return either Thursday in Montreal or Saturday in Boston, but we may be in for a big surprise tomorrow, who knows? The medical staff may give him the green light to play against the Leafs. Because the Avs did NOT practice Tuesday, though, and the last practice Landeskog had (Monday) came in a pumpkin sweater, I would tend to doubt he’ll play against Toronto. Then again, almost nothing I have written or said about Landeskog’s injury situation has been right so far. So, just take that opinion and toss it in the dumpster probably.
Normally, the Avs practice on the day before a game, but they just jumped straight on the charter today for Toronto. It’s one of the longer flights they have to take on the season, so it makes sense probably that they didn’t want to go through some rudimentary practice. One thing I’ve noticed about this team in the last two or three years is they are a little more sensible about travel and getting their rest. I don’t think a morning practice, followed by a 3-4 hour flight, not to mention an hour or two to and from the airports, would have made much sense.
Matt Calvert will return to the lineup tomorrow, and Mikko Rantanen is, by the team’s account, good to go for the game too. I will be interested to see who Jared Bednar starts in goal tomorrow too. Will it be Philipp Grubauer, in a bid at redemption from being chased by the Leafs in Denver early a week or two ago? Or, will Pavel Francouz get the start? Whoever starts Wednesday will sit Thursday I would assume.
OK, on to what you’ve really been waiting for, my Toronto Airbnb video review (and thank you to all who subscribe and give to the Tip Jar, including you, William B., who just gave $50). This is farm-to-table content, which I feel is the best way to do it. No wasted money on bloat or bureaucrats.