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Tonight on Versus: Maple Leafs and Avalanche look to stay hot

Calgary Flames v Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 15: Phil Kessel #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs scores and looks to referee Kevin Pollock #33 to confirm in a game against the Calgary Flames on October 15, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Flames 3-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

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If you looked at the standings this morning and caught a glimpse of who was leading the Northeast and Northwest Divisions, you might be caught off guard. There you’d see tonight’s combatants on Versus in the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Colorado Avalanche (7 p.m. ET). All right, sure, it’s early in the year and things get wacky - that’s fine but there’s a lot to like in what both teams are doing right off the bat.

The Leafs are seeing Phil Kessel take control as an offensive dynamo and making people think that he might not get picked last at the All-Star Game if he keeps up his torrid play (eight points in three games including five goals). We’re sure the jokes about Leafs fans planning the parade have been beaten into the ground already, but this time around their hot start doesn’t have the players thinking too big.

Colorado Avalanche v Montreal Canadiens

MONTREAL, CANADA - OCTOBER 15: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche skates with the puck while being defended by Raphael Diaz #61 of the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on October 16, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Avalanche defeated the Canadiens 6-5 in a shootout. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

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James Reimer’s play in goal also has the Leafs faithful thinking positively as he’s picked up where he left off last season when he took the starting job from Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Curiously enough, Giguere will be in goal for Colorado tonight hoping to cool off the Leafs. Money on the board, anyone? Giguere won’t be the only guy with money on the board as Leafs defenseman John-Michael Liles gets his first crack at his old team as well.

If you want to keep an eye out on anyone on Colorado, 18 year-old rookie Gabriel Landeskog is about as good as it gets. Landeskog has been playing on the third line and looking like a first liner while doing it. Getting the second overall pick in the draft usually means good things. Having a former third overall pick in Matt Duchene (2009) and former first overall pick in Erik Johnson (2006) can make it easier to get turned around too.