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Maple Leafs at Avalanche preview: Kadri will not play

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Clavin Pickard is expected to make his Maple Leafs debut against his former team

Colorado Avalanche v Philadelphia Flyers
Nathan MacKinnon boasts 40 points in just 36 games to start this season.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Maple Leafs will look for their third straight win on Friday night, and Calvin Pickard is expected to make his debut since Curtis McElhinney is dealing with a lower body injury. Pickard has spent his entire 86-game NHL career with the Avalanche, and boasts a .919 save percentage in 15 games with the Toronto Marlies this year.

The Avalanche are struggling with a depleted blue-line, as Tyson Barrie remains out of the lineup due to a hand injury. We can expect Erik Johnson to matchup against Auston Matthews, but Colorado does not boast many strong options to go up against Mitch Marner’s line.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Colorado Avalanche

9:00PM - Pepsi Center

TV: Sportsnet Ontario, NHL Live

SBN: Mile High Hockey

Expected Lines (My best guess- this assumes Kadri does not play)


Zach Hyman- Auston Matthews- William Nylander

Leo Komarov- Patrick Marleau- Connor Brown

James van Riemsdyk- Tyler Bozak- Mitch Marner

Matt Martin- Dominic Moore- Josh Leivo


Morgan Rielly- Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner- Connor Carrick

Andreas Borgman- Roman Polak


Calvin Pickard

Forwards: (As per Left Wing Lock)

Gabriel Landeskog- Nathan MacKinnon- Mikko Rantanen

Alexander Kerfoot- Tyson Jost- Nail Yakupov

Sven Andrighetto- JT Compher- Colin Wilson

Blake Comeau- Carl Soderberg- Matt Nieto


Nikita Zadorov- Erik Johnson

Patrik Nemeth- Mark Barberio

Samuel Girard- Anton Lindholm


Semyon Varlamov

The Avalanche are not good. They rank 30th in terms of expected goal percentage (xGF%), and 23rd in shot attempt differential (CF%). These numbers could also be slightly inflated, as the team no longer has Matt Duchene or Tyson Barrie in the lineup.

What Colorado does have going for them is a strong first line. Nathan MacKinnon is currently over a point per game pace, and both Landeskog and Rantanen are high-end power forwards. Nazem Kadri would normally match up against this line, so it will be interesting to see how the Leafs counter this line if their shutdown centre misses time due to injury.

Connor Carrick, Roman Polak, and Andreas Borgman all played poorly last night against the Coyotes, and it would not be surprising if Martin Marincin entered the lineup in place of Carrick. In any event, the Leafs should certainly be a clear favourite in this game, despite a potentially depleted lineup on the second half of a back-to-back.

Enjoy the game.

Check the GDT for lines closer to game time.