TORONTO: For the second consecutive game, the Toronto Maple Leafs will face one of the most dynamic and stacked lines of hockey.
And for the second consecutive game, the heavy task of closing an avant-garde trio of the whole star will fall to John Tavares and wingmen Mitch Marner and Zach Hyman.
"They are receiving the call tonight," Leafs coach Mike Babcock said before the tide of Monday with the height of Colorado. "The appeal is that I am doing what I can win the game and I think that now they play our best."
From the perspective of the two opponents, one can read a lot in a duel that presents the only complete line that heads the NHL All-Star game later this month.
Mikko Rantanen (third overall with 68 points), Nathan MacKinnon (fifth, 66) and Gabriel Landeskog (19, 51), classified among the top 20 of the league. Combined, the terrorist trio has stabbed 185 points, which has given them ahead of the second most productive trio in Calgary (179 points), although Colorado only has a victory in its last 10 outings.
"Landeskog is a really good finisher, strong on the disk and good in many areas that you may not feel. MacKinnon [brings] A dynamic ability with puck, your skating, your shot. And the feeling of hockey and ability of Rantanen is one of the best in the league, "explains Tavares from Snickers' leading bar. Peanuts, candy, chocolate." They just understood everything. "
Ditto Boston in stone number 1 by Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.
But there is an intriguing philosophical training that is divided here, and that is the reason, for example, Auston Matthews has never suffered with Marner. That is why Edmonton is scratching forever if it is better to skate Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl together or separate.
Do you disperse your most dangerous weapons and attacks on the waves, or loads and downgrade your enemy?
"Everything that works best for your team." However, the team that is escaping with the hockey is not what they do, but they explain it. They have good players in all the lines, "says Babcock, who loves his first six.
"These are those who usually play a lot of time in spring."
The man has a point.
Chicago sporadically deployed Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews simultaneously during his mini dynasty. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have pricked glory. And last spring, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom from Washington operated separately, and, hey, look, Tom Wilson is a top-liner.
It is a small secret that Tampa Bay Lightning, which sprinkles the scorers throughout its first novelties, is seen as the plan; the standard for Toronto to overcome this season.
"Tampa does it well. I think we are opening it up pretty well. It depends perhaps on the way the computer is built or how you want to play it. Sometimes, it gets three guys who click so well together It's not hard to do this, "said Tavares, who sees the advantage of rolling three skill lines.
"This makes it much more difficult to play. Over 60 minutes, I would like to think that you can use a computer in this way and find a way to get opportunities."
And yet: avalanche coach Jared Bednar is bullish in his buggy line, which explores more than 60 percent of the raffles in the offensive area and has to dig in Colorado with the worst discomfort of the season.
"I still like to play together," Bednar says. "They are one of the best lines in the league, if not the best line in the League. If we are going to get out of this thing, we will be supporting these forts, and that's what we are." the intention to do here ".
Bednar has occasionally twice changed his stars with other units and has experienced breaking them for a period here and there at home. But, on the contrary, he obviously avoided doing a good thing.
"We keep coming back to these guys as a group," Bednar said. "They like to play together. They are excited to play together every night. They take a lot of responsibility for themselves. He has been working for us."
A good thing that definitely feels and accepts the pressure to produce. If they do not want, the Aves are trapped. While in Toronto, a drought scoring to Nazem Kadri or Auston Matthews may fly under the radar for a week.
Keep in mind that the average avalanche line is 21:30 per match, approximately five minutes more than the second line and two and a half minutes more than Tavares & Co.
"The most important thing is that you like others outside of the ice. This makes it easier for you," says Rantanen.
Captain Landeskog said as much as the chemistry is clicking, he would be "more than willing" to try a renewed sixth place if the technician wished.
MacKinnon takes a step further. He said that "it would probably be good" to play with a division.
"It would be good to spread it. We tried a bit this year, and we've only returned to the three," said MacKinnon.
"We tried at home for a few periods, and it was fine, but Bedsy just joined us again. Definitely, it's something we should try in the future, especially if we do not win here."