What to watch on the Wild’s day off: Maple Leafs v. Avalanche

Two surprise teams face off tonight

The Wild have an off day before the Pens come into town on Tuesday, so it’s time once again for some suggested viewing during the Wild’s day off. The game for tonight is:

Toronto v. Colorado

Weeee! I scored!

Why: Both Toronto and Colorado have shot out to surprise starts and are atop their respective divisions. For Toronto, they’re undefeated at the friendly confines of the Air Canada Center and, for Colorado, they’ve yet to lose away from home after losing their first game at the Pepsi Center. Colorado’s offense has been out in force, scoring 17 goals in five games whileToronto’s defense has been the talk of the town, giving up just seven goals in three games. That’s not to say, though, that Toronto’s offense is a slouch, with Phil Kessel helping pace the NHL right now with eight points.

When: The puck drops tonight at 6 pm CST and is televised on Versus.

What to Watch For: Semyon Varlamov has been an absolute monster in net for the Avs. He’s faced 144 shots in just four games and has yet to face less than 30 shots in a contest. Now, the Avs defense needs to protect him quite a bit more, but Varlamov is certainly playing with the proverbial chip on his shoulder after being moved from Washington this off season and the Avs front office are looking like geniuses for picking him up.

What Else: I mentioned that Kessel has eight points in his first three games, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Joffrey Lupul. Lupul has five points in three games and is one of the big reasons why Kessel is buzzing as much as he is. ForColorado, keep an eye on Gabriel Landeskog, who has two goals and an assist so far this season.

State of Hockey Connections: Phil the Thrill starred for the Golden Gophers for a season before making the jump to the pros. Jake Gardiner hails from Deephaven and was a star at Minnetonka High School before going and plying his trade at theUniversity of Wisconsin for three seasons. Chuck Kobasew played 105 games in a Wild uniform and both Peter Mueller and Erik Johnson hail from Bloomington.

Fun Fact: At 35, Milan Hejduk will be the elder statesman in this game and one of five players that are 30 or older. J.S. Giguere (34) and Jan Hejda (33) are the over-30s forColorado and John-Michael Liles (30) and Tim Connolly (30) represent the 30-plus crowd for Toronto.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!