Preview: Avalanche Desperate for Points Against Leafs

Tonight, the Colorado Avalanche will host the revived Toronto Maple Leafs in their second and last meeting of the season. Colorado are currently not enjoying a four-game losing streak and thus really need to dig deep tonight and get the team thinking positively again.

It should be a fast paced game with plenty of skill on hand but right now that cannot be said with much certainty when it comes to the Avalanche. They possess all the talent they need, at least up front, to score a lot of goals, yet are dead last in the league.

The team is missing top defenseman Erik Johnson, and will be for a while, and that has taken a significant toll on recent results and play. Though a team cannot collapse after losing one player, there must be depth and perseverance, neither has shown up.

Everything has to improve for the Avs, and we’ll certainly find out about the character of this team during these last two contests before the break.

Colorado Avalanche vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Pepsi Center – 7 p.m. MT

Broadcast channels – ALT, TSN 4

2016-17 Season Series: Second meeting of the season, Avalanche won 3 – 1 on December 11 in Toronto.

Colorado Avalanche – 11-19-1 – 23 Points

Home Record: 4-10-1

Hot Players: Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Mikko Rantanen

Key Injuries: Erik Johnson

Projected lines:


Gabe Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Rene Bourque

Mikhail Grigorenko – Matt Duchene – Mikko Rantanen

Blake Comeau – Carl Soderberg – Jarome Iginla

Cody McLeod – John Mitchell – Joe Colborne


Fedor Tyutin – Tyson Barrie

Francois Beauchemin – Cody Goloubef

Nikita Zadorov – Patrick Wiercioch

Starting Goaltender

Semyon Varlamov

Toronto Maple Leafs – 12-12-7 – 31 Points

Road Record: 3-6-5

Hot Players: Auston Matthews, Jake Gardiner

Key Injuries: Tyler Bozak, Ben Smith, Martin Marincin

Projected lines:


James van Riemsdyk – Nazem Kadri – Mitchell Marner

Zach Hyman – Auston Matthews – Connor Brown

Leo Komorov – Frederik Gauthier – William Nylander

Matt Martin – Byron Froese – Nikita Soshnikov


Morgan Reilly – Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner – Connor Carrick

Matt Hunwick – Roman Polak

Starting Goaltender

Frederik Andersen

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] Coincidentally, the previous time these two teams met was the last game Colorado won. Semyon Varlamov had a big say in that contest, saving 51 Maple Leafs shots in the victory.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] This game will be the first of a back-to-back before the holiday break, as the Avalanche travel to take on the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow night.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] The latest first overall pick, Auston Matthews, will be coming to Denver for the first time in his young career, and Avs fans will get a glimpse of one of the brightest players on the NHL horizon. However, not too much of a glimpse let’s hope!

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Avalanche have been on a lengthy four-game losing streak, it’s got to end at one point. What better time than right before the holiday break?

Win these last two games and suddenly you’ve got some positivity to build upon heading into the new year. That’s how the Avs should be approaching the next couple of days.

If they continue to lose, watch out for the Christmas-time rumors(which have already begun) to get ugly. No one wants that, especially during the jolly holidays.