The Colorado Avalanche will take on the Leafs Wednesday night in a matchup full of star power. Colorado heads into game two of a four game road trip, looking to build on their 8-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night. The Avalanche have been excellent on the road this year holding a 19-11-1 record away from Ball arena. The Leafs have been very strong at home this season going 24-7-4 in Toronto. However, the Leafs are a league worst 13-22 ATS at home this year and Colorado has gone 16-14 ATS on the road this season.
The Avalanche head into Tuesday night’s contest having found their form of recent going 9-4 over their last 13. They are currently in 3rd place in the central division 7 points back of first place, but also just 5 points from being out of the playoffs. Toronto is currently in a two team race for home ice in what will almost certainly be a first round playoff series versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. From a motivation perspective it is much easier for me to see Colorado getting up for this game as they have so much at stake. The Leafs do not have much to play for at this point in the season and it is hard to match the energy of teams competing for a playoff spot/positioning.
ADVANTAGE IN NET
We can expect to see Alexander Georgiev in net for the Avalanche on Wednesday. The Colorado netminder has been in strong form on the road this year holding a 15-7 record with a .916 save percentage. For Toronto it’ll likely be Matt Murray in net who has been quite poor this season. He ranks 28th in goals allowed per game (2.92) and ranks T-31st in save percentage (.903). Those numbers are even worse at home where he allows 3.37 goals per game in Toronto. Murray has allowed at least 4 goals in each of his last 5 games.
Considering the Leafs like to play games close at home, I am going to take the better goaltender at plus odds. The Avalanche should continue to progress as their normal group gets more minutes together. A Colorado team that plays with so much pace and has such a strong powerplay should certainly make things tough on Murray. I expect for the Avs to have a little bit more of an edge with two points being much more important to them than the Leafs at this point in the year. Give me the Avalanche on the moneyline at +130.