Puck Drop: 9:00 p.m. EST  |  Arena: Pepsi Center |  TV: SN Ontario |  Radio: TSN 1050


Game Day Quotes

Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar on the keys for his team tonight:

One of the keys, I think, for us tonight against this team: Offensively, they’re a real hungry team. They’re hungry around the net; they get a lot of chances in tight and in prime scoring areas. So, owning that area of the ice in our end and making sure we’re sealing out, clearing pucks, and being hard to play against down there is important. On the flip side of things, that’s an area that we have to try and expose tonight. We’ve got to get to the interior of the ice with the puck. We’ve got to shoot a lot of pucks. We’ve got in there for some rebounds and some secondary chances. Whether it’s [Calvin Pickard in net] or someone else, I think it’s the same game plan for us.

Mike Babcock on Calvin Pickard receiving the start:

Obviously, he’s played in the NHL before. He had a tough start with the Marlies but has played very well. Here’s an opportunity for him. I’d imagine it’s one he’ll embrace. He’s played he before, was drafted here. Here’s an opportunity for him and an opportunity for us to watch him as well. We’ve just got to do a good job and play in front of him.

Babcock on why Pickard got the call over Sparks:

The other guy had been injured and sick, so it’s just the way it goes. It’s kind of like Marty Marincin. You could’ve said Dermott could have been the guy, but he was injured. There is nothing we can do about that. We just call the guys that are ready.

Babcock on the improved power play of late (five goals in last last four games):

It’s just puck speed. For a while, we slowed right now. We weren’t moving at all, so it was easy for teams to defend. Mitch getting his confidence back has been a big part of that as well. I think, just in general, we’ve got more puck speed. Getting Matty back gives you a second unit as well.

Babcock on Mitch Marner’s confidence level after nine points in four games:

He had confidence when he arrived. Everything was good. You know, you are on that initial tour. Life is good. You’re full of energy. And then you come back and find out it is a real league and it’s a real grind. Then, when it goes bad, how do you handle it? Who are you listening to and who are you surrounding yourself with, and what are you doing to keep the weight of the world off of you? Going through that is a real good thing.

When you look at what he’s been able to do offensively thus far, it’s kind of where you expected him to be. I think that, in general, is just what happens in the league. Sometimes it is going real good. Sometimes it is not. Just be positive and keep working. As long as you work, good things happen.

On the lineup changes with Nazem Kadri out:

Marleau will be in the middle. He played in the middle most of the game last night. Naz didn’t last very long, so Patty was in the middle. We’ve talked about it a bunch — we don’t like to play him there and I don’t think he wants to play there all the time, but when we need him, he’s good.

Babcock on Nylander’s play since Auston Matthews returned:

Will was going real good before Matty came back. Then, obviously, them together… they play well together. They have a good combination with the three of them. It’s like anything — you’ve got to play good to remain in those spots. As long as they are playing good, they can play together.

Babcock on the decision to give the team an off-day Saturday in Vegas:

They’re over 12. Bottom line is, there are lots of things to do in Vegas. They know we are in the middle of three games in four days, or whatever we’re in, so they know how important the game is. They’ll be professional, but there are lots of things to do to give yourself a day off physically and mentally.

Avalanche forward Alex Kerfoot on the Leafs:

They’re a good team up and down the lineup. They’ve got four lines that can play and four lines that can score. We’ve got to be responsible with the puck. If we can roll four lines and be consistent and reliable, we’ll be alright tonight.

Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen on trying to take advantage of a tired Leafs team:

The advantage should be with us. It’s our house here, so we have to play well and start the game really well. Try to get pucks in behind their D. That’s the key to the game.


Matchup Stats

 TORCOL
Record23-14-117-16-3
GF/g3.34 (4th)3.11 (9th)
GA/g2.82 (13th)3.19 (25th)
PP%23.1% (5th)
18.9% (17th)
PK%82.5% (12th)83.5% (7th)
Shots/g30.8 (20th)29.7 (27th)
Shots Against/g34.0 (29th)31.8 (18th)
5v5 CF%49.5% (16th)48.0% (24th)
5v5 SV%.928 (9th).919 (23rd)
5v5 SH%9.5% (2nd)8.4% (9th)

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup

*We have added goal, assist, and point totals for each player below the lines. Total goals per line are indicated, too, as well as save percentage for goalies.

Forwards

Hyman – Matthews – Nylander
  (38-7-13-20) – (28-15-14-29) – (38-8-19-27) Total: 30
Komarov – Marleau – Brown
(37-4-5-9) – (38-14-8-22) – (38-10-5-15)  Total: 28
Van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Marner
  (37-16-10-26) – (37-7-13-20) – (38-5-24-29) Total: 28
Martin– Moore – Leivo
 (36-2-7-9) – (29-4-5-9) – (10-1-1-2)  Total: 7

Defencemen

Rielly – Hainsey
 (38-4-22-26) – (38-3-13-16) Total: 7
Gardiner – Marincin
 (38-3-15-18) – (0-0-0-0) Total: 3
Borgman – Polak
(36-2-6-8) – (19-1-2-3) Total: 3

Goaltenders

Pickard (.919 sv%*)
Andersen (.923 sv%)

*AHL

Scratched: Carrick
Injured: 
Soshnikov, Zaitsev, Kadri, McElhinney


Colorado Avalanche Projected Lineup

Forwards

Landeskog– MacKinnon – Rantanen
  (32-14-13-27) – (36-15-25-40) – (36-11-21-32) Total: 40
Andrighetto – Compher– Kerfoot
(35-6-11-17) – (30-6-6-12) – (33-9-14-23) Total: 21
Wilson – Jost – Yakupov
  (27-3-5-8) – (20-2-3-5) – (31-8-4-12) Total: 13
Nieto– Soderberg – Comeau
 (29-5-7-12) – (33-6-9-15) – (36-7-8-15) Total: 18

Defencemen

Zadorov– Johnson
 (31-3-5-8) – (34-4-8-13) Total: 7
Nemeth – Barberio
 (122-1-7-8) – (33-2-8-10) Total: 3
Girard – Lindholm
 (22-0-2-2) – (22-0-0-0) Total: 0

Goaltenders

Varlamov (.909 sv%)
Bernier (.893 sv%)

Injured: Kamanev, Barrie, Yakupov