Preview: Avalanche at Maple Leafs, Game 3

Claus Andersen

The Colorado Avalanche (2-0-0) look to remain undefeated as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (3-0-0) in their first road trip of the season.

The Colorado Avalanche will look to remain undefeated in the 2013-2014 campaign as they head to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs in their first road trip of the season. The Maple Leafs won their first two games on the road before coming from behind to beat the Ottawa Senators in a shootout on Saturday. Six early points aside, the Leafs goalie controversy looks as though it could live up to all the summer hype. James Reimer started the season with a solid win over the Montreal Canadiens and Jonathan Bernier responded the next night by allowing just a single goal against the Philadelphia Flyers. In just the third game however, Reimer was pulled for Bernier leading Coach Randy Carlyle to say this:

"There wasn't a lot of extra rebounds hanging around," "When he made the save, the puck was either in his glove or he was able to freeze it. He controlled the puck, which allowed us to box out. There wasn't so many wild scrambles around the net. Hat's off to him."

Shots fired Reimer fans! Move over Luongo, because this could get fun.

There are some big questions for viewers around the hockey world heading into this Tuesday night matchup. Can Patrick Roy cope with the media frenzy in Toronto without going hulk? When Steve Downie enters a church in Nashville, does he burst into flames? Will the Avalanche goon squad keep gooning it up all over the ice and making the good guys cry? The relevant questions however, are a little more interesting: How will Roy handle the defense when he doesn't get the last change? Can the Avalanche start to capitalize on their pass-happy power play? And when will Nathan MacKinnon score his first NHL goal?

The Avalanche have played some tough gritty hockey to open this season, and thus far opposing teams and fanbases have taken exception to their new hard-hitting play and fiery attitude. It will be interesting to see if the Avs can escape Toronto without stirring up another controversy, but either way one team will be leaving Air Canada Centre with their first loss of the year.

Tonights Lines:

  • O'Reilly - Duchene SLAP FIGHT!!!- Downie
  • Landeskog - Stastny - Tanguay
  • McGinn - MacKinnon - Parenteau
  • Bordeleau - Mitchell - McLeod
  • Johnson - Hejda
  • Sarich - Benoit
  • Barrie - Guenin
  • Varlamov

Injury Report:

COL: Gabriel Landeskog makes his return to the lineup after missing Game 2 with a minor leg injury. Meanwhile, Nate Guenin's strong defensive play has earned him a 3rd consecutive night in the lineup, while Nick Holden and Matt Hunwick sit. Ryan Wilson will be on the road-trip and is likely to play at some point, but will not make his season debut against the Maple Leafs. When Wilson does return to the lineup the Patrick Roy has some tough personnel decisions to make, as all his likely demotions would need to pass through waivers before reporting to Lake Erie. Roy revealed in a press conference earlier this week that Joe Sakic and Josh Kroenke will accompany their team on the road trip to be part of the decision making process in regards to the Avs 9th defenseman. Lets go over that again. The team's President and Vice President will be attending three away games in the first month of the season to provide their input on roster moves regarding the team's 9th defenseman. If it feels like Avs exec's are suddenly more committed to the teams success, it should, this is a great omen for the kind of hands on involvement that Sakic and Kroenke have in putting together a winner.

TOR: Nikolai Kulemin will miss two weeks with an ankle injury while defenseman Mark Fraser (knee) and forward Frazer McLaren (hand) have been placed on injured reserve. Meanwhile, David Clarkson is serving his 10 game suspension for protecting Phil Kessel from all kinds of imminent danger.


5:00 PM MT/7:00 PM ET

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