Michael Hutchinson was supposed to draw the start between the pipes for the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight but due to his 4.67 GAA on the year, which is by far the worst average among qualified goaltenders, Frederik Andersen will get the start on back-to-back nights. Andersen owns a .798% high danger save percentage, which ranks 52nd out of 72, and has a -3.44 high danger goals saved against average which is the 9th-worst number in the league. Auston Matthews and Co should capitalize on this, as their 251 high danger corsi for and 18.78% high danger shooting percentage are top-10 in the NHL.
The Avalanche just received a huge boost in the form of Mikko Rantanen. Rants has played in just 10 games this year but has picked up 16 points and finished last year with 87 points in 74 games – let’s just say the dude is a stud. Additional reinforcements could be on the horizon for Colorado as both Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Calvert were practicing as of Monday. Colorado owns the league’s best shooting percentage, 10.73%, meaning they score goals on nearly 11% of their shots. This should spell bad news for Toronto who ranks 25th in team save percentage at .905%.
Both these teams have high powered offenses, Colorado is first overall in the league in terms of goals for per game (3.73) as Toronto comes in at the 11 spot with a 3.21 goals for average. The splits are good here as well, on the road the Avalanche are 3rd-best in scoring with an average of 3.43 goals for per game and Toronto is averaging 3.14 goals for per game at home. In terms of special teams, both teams are bottom half of the league in penalty kill percentage, the Avs own a 78.4% penalty kill (19th) and Toronto owns a 75.8% penalty kill which ranks 25th. Toronto should have plenty of opportunities to capitalize as Colorado’s 10.04 penalty minutes per game is the 5th-most, their 19 power play goals against is the 10th highest total in the NHL.
The Leafs have seen the over in 3 of their 5 games since the firing of Mike Babcock, including a push at 6 vs Detroit where Toronto scored all six goals.
These two teams are 8-1-1 to the over in their last 10 meetings, the lone push at 6 was on November 6th, 2014.
Mitch Marner will make his return from injury tonight versus the Avalanche. Marner has missed 11 games with a high ankle sprain.
Take over the combined goals in what should be a very high scoring affair at the Scotiabank Arena: Colorado and Toronto over 6.5.
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