Avalanche at Leafs
FACEOFF: 7 p.m. TV: TSN4 RADIO: Sportsnet 590 The FAN
MacKinnon/Tavares Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, one of the four captains for the upcoming all-star game, entered Sunday fifth in the league in points (66) and tied for seventh in goals (26), three behind John Tavares, who is tied for third in goals. Coach Mike Babcock prefers going to head-tohead with top lines, which could lead to a MacKinnon-Tavares matchup, but he might opt for the Nazem Kadri checking unit against the lethal troika of MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog.
NEED TO KNOW
The Avs are not enjoying their five-game road trek across Canada, dropping three in a row and just barely hanging on to a wild-card slot whilst fourth in the Central Division. Colorado’s stellar start to the season has been severely undermined by seven consecutive road losses ... The lowlight of the team’s excursion north of the border was MacKinnon caught on camera, in Calgary, erupting in a dispute with coach Jared Bednar. MacKinnon seemed to mouth “Do your job” at Bednar toward the end of the 5-3 defeat, the team’s eighth loss in nine games. MacKinnon later acknowledged he was upset the goalie hadn’t been pulled earlier but admitted he’d mishandled the situation, saying he had looked “like an idiot.”
Thursday in Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. Rosie DiManno