The calendar year of 2022 was a special one for the Colorado Avalanche.
On Saturday, they’ll try to end it on a high note.
Fresh off back to back losses coming out of the Holiday break, and having given up 10 regulation goals in the last two games, the Avalanche will look for a bounce back against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who hold the third best record in the NHL.
It’s entirely possible the Avalanche will get an especially late Christmas gift on Saturday evening.
This morning, the team demoted Charles Hudon back to the Colorado Eagles. Nathan MacKinnon has been skating with the team the last few practices, ready to return, and as soon as he let the staff know he was healthy enough to play, he’d be re-inserted into the lineup.
The Hudon demotion would seem to indicate he’s ready. The team is not holding a morning skate due to the earlier start time (5 PM MST), so official word will come closer to game time.
The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, are one of the tougher matchups in the NHL. They boast 50 points, third in the league, and are third in the league in goals against.
They’re coming off a 6-3 loss in Arizona against the Coyotes.
This will be the first of two meetings between the teams this season, with the second and final matchup coming in March.
UPDATE: Nathan MacKinnon was activated off injured reserve, indicating a return tonight is likely
Expected Colorado Avalanche Lines
Artturi Lehkonen – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Alexander Newhook – J.T. Compher – Evan Rodrigues
Andrew Cogliano – Ben Meyers – Logan O’Connor
Kurtis MacDermid – Denis Malgin – Jacob MacDonald
Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Samuel Girard – Erik Johnson
Andreas Englund – Brad Hunt
Expected Toronto Maple Leafs lines, per PuckPedia.com
Michael Bunting – Auston Matthews – William Nylander
Calle Jarnkrok – John Tavares – Mitch Marner
Alexander Kerfoot – David Kampf – Pierre Engvall
Zach Aston-Reese – Pontus Holmberg – Dryden Hunt
Mark Giordano – Justin Holl
Morgan Rielly – Timothy Liljegren
T.Tj. Brodie – Conor Timmins
Colorado Avalanche Power Play: 27%, 6th in NHL
Colorado Avalanche Penalty Kill: 75.5%, 20th in NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs Power Play: 24.8%, 10th in NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs Penalty Kill: 78.4%, 15th in NHL
How to Watch
TV: Altitude TV, ESPN+, Sportsnet
Radio: 92.5 FM Altitude Sports Radio
Game Time: 5 PM MST