Tonight the Avalanche take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Avalanche will be pursuing their 10th straight win which is still amazing. To start this off, I’m worried. The Avalanche are heading up to Canada to face the Leafs, the Leafs are a team that can put eight goals up on you in a night if they are in the mood, and the Avalanche still haven’t convinced me that that is not going to happen tonight. I don’t know why every night I have a seed of doubt planted in me thinking that the Avs are going to blow it. I have said time and time again this team seems too good to be true.
Toronto is a good team and their success last year due to the like of, Matthews, Marner, JVR, Kadri, and Nylander up front they have a very formidable offense that can impose their will on an unprepared defense/goalie. The Maple Leafs are a good home team at 13-7-2.
But what the Maple Leafs have up front they are truly lacking on the back end. Jake Gardiner is probably the only defensemen that is going to be able to keep up with the first line of the Avalanche. The Leafs are currently missing Nikita Zaitsev and Morgan Reilly to injury. Much like the Rangers, this back end is going to be very beneficial for the Avalanche. Defense leads to offense so hopefully, the Avalanche will be able to keep the pressure on them.
I see the only issue is going to Canada and playing in their barn. Roger’s Arena is going to be packed and electric tonight so the boys better be the first to score.
Nathan MacKinnon is going to have to continue his Hart Trophy pace. He will be getting help from here and there but he is going to have to carry the bulk of the offense again. I truly believe he should be the one to win the award, not only because I’m a biased fan. This kid is the most valuable player in the league. Most valuable player on his team and there is no denying that. MacKinnon does not have another superstar feeding him he has two gritty guys in Landeskog and Rantanen. Stamkos has Kucherov, Giroux has Vorachek, Kessel has Malkin. Then only other players that deserve to be in the discussion would be Tavares. This discussion would be for another time and another post.
The Avalanche should have their way with the hampered Leafs tonight.
My pick: Avs 4-2 Originally (6-2 but they are away)
My manager 3-1 Avs
Ridiculous I know