Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Game 4 Preview: Avalanche @ Leafs

After beating the Ottawa Senators in a thrilling rendition of the Battle of Ontario on Saturday, the Leafs will look to go 4-0 against the Colorado Avalanche tonight. The Avalanche themselves are 2-0 to start the year, with their fiery coach Patrick Roy bringing plenty of attention to the squad. Jonathan Bernier gets the start after doing his best Curtis Joseph impersonation vs. Ottawa.

The Avalanche have looked impressive out west with two wins at home vs. the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks. They’ve performed at an above-average possession mark, a positive sign for a club that’s looking to make the playoffs for the first time since Craig Anderson was manning the pipes for them back in 2009-10.

Projected Lines:

Leafs (via MapleLeafs.com):

Forwards:

James van Riemsdyk-Tyler Bozak-Phil Kessel

Joffrey Lupul-Nazem Kadri-Carter Ashton

Troy Bodie-Dave Bolland-Mason Raymond

Colton Orr-Trevor Smith-Jamie Devane

Defense:

Dion Phaneuf-Carl Gunnarsson

Morgan Rielly-Cody Franson

Jake Gardiner-Paul Ranger

Goalies:

Jonathan Bernier

James Reimer

Avalanche (via DailyFaceoff.com):

Forwards:

Gabriel Landeskog-Paul Stastny-Alex Tanguay

Ryan O’Reilly-Matt Duchene-Steve Downie

Jamie McGinn-Nathan MacKinnon-P.A. Parenteau

Cody McLeod-John Mitchell-Patrick Bordeleau

Defense:

Jan Hejda-Erik Johnson

Tyson Barrie-Nate Guenin

Cory Sarich-Andre Benoit

Goalies:

Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Tale of the Tape (via ExtraSkater.com):

Team PDO:

Colorado: 110.7 (2nd)

Toronto: 102.9 (7th)

Team Corsi %:

Colorado: 50.5 % (15th)

Toronto: 46.4% (24th)

Team Shooting %:

Colorado: (3rd)

Toronto: (9th)

Team PDO (5v5 Close):

Colorado: 105.3 (6th)

Toronto: 102.2 (8th)

Team Corsi % (5v5 Close):

Colorado: 51.2 % (13th)

Toronto: 43.3% (28th)

Team Sh % (5v5 Close):

Colorado: (12th)

Toronto: (18th)

News, Notes and Tidbits:

Starting Goaltenders:

Jonathan Bernier: 2-0, 0.64 GAA .979%

Semyon Varlamov: 2-0, 1.00 GAA, .968%

Final Thoughts:

  • I’m uber excited to see Nathan MacKinnon play on prime time Canadian television. For the people who don’t have GameCenter Live or Center Ice, it’ll be one of the few times this year they get to see the 2013 first-overall draft pick in action. The results have been promising so far with three assists in his first two contests They’ve deployed him in a more offensive role, with 45.8 per cent of his zone starts occurring in the offensive zone, the highest on the Avs so far.
  • The Leafs have been a poor possession team once again, ranking 25th in Corsi percentage in all situations. Despite this, their shooting percentages have regressed a bit, going from 10.7 per cent in 5 on 5 situations last year to 8.8 per cent.
  • Through three games, Mason Raymond has been dynamic, recording four points in three games so far. While on the ice, the Leafs have actually outshot opponents 22 to 21. Cam Charron even posted a piece with zone entry results through three games so far. Raymond ranks second in successful carries with 11.

Puck Drop: 7 PM EST

TV: TSN

Radio: Sportsnet 590 The Fan

Tags: Colorado Avalanche Toronto Maple Leafs

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