Maple Leafs Host The NHL's Hottest Team

Published January 22, 2018 at 2:55 PM

"Toronto Maple Leafs 57 pts (26-17-5)
Colorado Avalanche 55 pts (26-13-3)
7 p.m. ET
Air Canada Centre – Toronto, ON
TV: Sportsnet Ontario
Radio: TSN 1050

Season Series/Schedule
Date Game GWG
29-Dec TOR 3 @ COL 4 JT Compher
22-Jan COL @ TOR

Team Leaders
Maple Leafs Avalanche
Auston Matthews, 35 Points Nathan MacKinnon, 59
Auston Matthews, 20 Goals Nathan MacKinnon, 23
Rielly/Marner, 26 Assists Nathan MacKinnon, 36
When we first saw the two dates against the Colorado Avalanche on the schedule, many Maple Leafs fans probably figured on four easy points. That is not the case as the Avs will go for the season sweep after scoring a 4-3 win back on December 29.
The victory over the Leafs last month was the first of their current nine-game winning streak, which is both the longest in franchise history and in the NHL this season. Our old friend Jonathan Bernier has started the last eight games of this winning streak. He will be making his first start at the Air Canada Centre since being traded by the Maple Leafs prior to the 2016-17.
During this streak, the Avs have outscored their opponents 37-14 and have not trailed at any point over the last nine games.
Nathan MacKinnon has emerged as a Hart Trophy candidate as he is currently second in the NHL 59 points. He has 51 points (20 G, 31 A) in his last 34 games and leads the entire league in scoring since November 1.
The Maple Leafs will have to try to slow down MacKinnon and the Avalanche without the services of their top defenseman. Morgan Rielly missed today's morning skate and will not dress for the second straight game. It is unlikely that we will seem return before the All-Star break this weekend.

Probable Maple Leafs Lineup
Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Connor Brown
Matt Martin - Frederik Gauthier - Mitch Marner
Jake Gardiner - Ron Hainsey
Travis Dermott - Connor Carrick
Andreas Borgman - Roman Polak
Frederik Andersen (23-13-4, 2.65 GAA, .920 save %, 3 SO)
LW-Joffrey Lupul (sports hernia) out, RW-Nikita Soshnikov (lower-body) D-Nikita Zaitsev (lower-body) out, D-Morgan Rielly (upper-body) out

Probable Avalanche Lineup
Gabriel Landeskog - Nate MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Dominic Toninato - Alexander Kerfoot - Nail Yakupov
Blake Comeau - Carl Soderberg - Matt Nieto
Gabriel Bourque - Tyson Jost - JT Compher
Nikita Zadorov - Erik Johnson
Patrik Nemeth - Mark Barberio
Sam Girard - Anton Lindholm
Jonathan Bernier (13-7-1, 2.61 GAA, .919 save %, 2 SO)
LW-Vladislav Kamenev (arm) out, D-Tyson Barrie (hand) out, LW-Sven Andrighetto (leg) out, G-Semyon Varlamov (lower-body) out, RW-Colin Wilson (illness) "

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