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Game Preview: Avalanche play host to Maple Leafs

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The last time Colorado won? Against the Maple Leafs, though they did it the hard way.

Colorado Avalanche v Toronto Maple Leafs

If you weren’t yet aware, the Avalanche have lost a boat-load of games over the past month? How many, you ask? Well 11-of-14 to be exact, which last time I checked won’t get you into the playoffs. Fortunately for this tumbling wreck of team, their last win was against the Toronto Maple Leafs (12-12-7) on December 11th and that’s who they will attempt to play hockey against tonight.

Even though it was technically a victory, the Colorado Avalanche went about it in, quite possibly, the most difficult way imaginable, allowing 52 (yes, five-two) shots on goal. Semyon Varlamov, however, interested in raising his bottom-tier save percentage, stopped 51 of those opportunities and gave his team an excellent chance to win. Of course, in order to do so, they would also have to score goals, which as you know has been mighty struggle as of late. Oddly enough, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen were up to the task, and Blake Comeau threw in an empty-netter at the end of the game for good measure, giving the Avalanche to a 3-1 victory.

They shouldn’t expect to play like that again and get away with it.

Auston Matthews and company aren’t a great hockey team—I mean, they have one more win than the Avs—but they’re well-coached and don’t have the same predilection for stretches of stupidity. This game is also being played at the Pepsi Center and we all know what that means.

Can they pull off the impossible? I don’t know. Let’s check in at 7:00 PM Mountain Standard Time and find out.

Lineups

Landeskog—MacKinnon—Bourque
Rantanen—Duchene—Iginla
Grigorenko—Mitchell—Comeau
McLeod—Soderberg—Colborne

(Can anyone actually keep track of D pairings anymore?)

Ok, maybe the lines are like this tonight:

Zadorov—Tyutin
Wiercioch—Barrie
Beauchemin—Goloubef

Varlamov
Pickard

Oh, and let’s wish Steven Page well wishes, as I believe the Avalanche finally killed the poor guy. Get better (or crawl back from the dead) soon!