Last year, the game in Toronto between the Colorado Avalanche and Maple Leafs was a real barn burner. The Avalanche are a little shorthanded right now, but here’s hoping we get more great hockey.
The Avalanche are coming off arguably their two best efforts of the season, and will look to keep that going against the high-flying Maple Leafs. They have another good news/potentially bad news scenario on the lineup front.
Josh Manson, who has missed the last few games due to a lower-body injury, is expected to play. On the flip side, Valeri Nichushkin is under the weather and may not be able to play for the Avalanche against the Maple Leafs. Bednar expects him to go, but you never know with an illness, as we’ve seen with Miles Wood. If Nichushkin can’t go, Colorado will have to go 11/7.
Wood, Artturi Lehkonen, and Bowen Byram will not play for the Avalanche. Byram has not skated yet and Bednar said this morning he doesn’t have a timeline for him right now.
Alexandar Georgiev will start in net for the Avalanche, while Martin Jones will go for the Maple Leafs.
The goal of the Avalanche on Saturday? Slow down Auston Matthews. The Maple Leafs superstar leads the NHL with 33 goals. That is easier said than done, because his release is out of control, but having Devon Toews and Cale Makar helps.
With the Maple Leafs, it’s not just Matthews you have to worry about. William Nylander is having a great year, and just earned a massive extension. There’s also guys like John Tavares and Mitch Marner, so the Avalanche will need another team effort defensively to slow down the Maple Leafs.
Expected Colorado Avalanche Lines
Jonathan Drouin – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Valeri Nichushkin – Ross Colton – Logan O’Connor
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Johansen – Joel Kiviranta
Kurtis MacDermid – Fredrik Olofsson – Jason Polin
Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Sam Girard – Josh Manson
Jack Johnson – Sam Malinski
Expected Toronto Maple Leafs Lineup
Knies – Matthews – Marner
Bertuzzi – Tavares – Nylander
Holmberg – Domi – Jarnkrok
McMann – Kampf – Gregor
Rielly – Brodie
Benoit – McCabe
Giordano – Liljegren
Colorado Avalanche Power Play: 25%, 8th in NHL
Colorado Avalanche Penalty Kill: 82.9%, 8th in NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs Power Play: 26.7%, 6th in NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs Penalty Kill: 76.8%, 24th in NHL
How to Watch
TV: ESPN+, Altitude TV, NHL Network
Radio: 92.5 Altitude Radio
Game Time: 5:00 PM MST