1995/96: The city of Denver had its second chance at hockey when the Nordiques moved to the Mile High City 13 years after the Rockies, who were a perennial doormat in their seven seasons in Colorado, bolted for New Jersey. However, in the team that would be renamed they were getting a genuine Stanley Cup Contender. On October 6th old McNichols Arena was jammed packed as the Avalanche defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. Already a contender the Avalanche acquired Claude Lemieux a proven tough playoff competitor in a trade with the former Rockies now known as the New Jersey Devils. Early on the Avs were strong posting a 16-7-4 record in early December. However, on December 6th they stole the heart of fans in the Providence of Quebec again this time acquiring Goalie Montreal Canadiens who had a falling out with his Coach along with Mike Keane for Andrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky and Jocelyn Thibault. The deal would of give the Avalanche perhaps the greatest goalie of all time, and would spur the team on to a 47-25-10 record which was the second best record in the NHL. In the playoffs the Avalanche would get off to a shaky start as they split their first four games with the Vancouver Canucks. The Avalanche would find themselves in trouble again trailing late in Game 5 at home. However, Joe Sakic would tie the game with five minutes left and win in overtime as the Avs to a 3-2 series lead in Vancouver where they eliminated the Canucks in Game 6. In the second round the Sakic was the hero in overtime again as he scored in the third overtime of Game 4 as the Avalanche evened their series with the Chicago Blackhawks. The dramatic win would have a snowball effect as the Avalanche won the next two games to take the series in six games. Facing the Detroit Red Wings who had won a record 61 games the Avalanche continued to roll winning the first two games in Detroit. The Wings would rebound to win Game 3 in Denver, but the Avalanche would take a 3-1 series lead with a win in Game 4. After the Red Wings took Game 5 in Detroit the Avalanche completed the upset as Joe Sakic scored two goals bring up his playoff total to 17 with a win at McNichols in Game 6. Forced to start the Finals without Claude Lemieux who was suspended for two games for a nasty crosscheck on Kris Draper in Game 6, the Avalanche would not miss a beat dominating the Florida Panthers in the first two games at home winning by a collective 11-3 score. As the series shifted to Miami Joe Sakic was the hero again scoring his 18th goal in the 2nd period to give the Avalanche a 3-2 win and a 3-0 series lead. Looking to complete the sweep the Avalanche were stymied by John Vanbiesbrouck. However Patrick Roy would keep the puck out of the net as well and the game went scoreless into a third overtime, where Uwe Krupp beat Vanbiesbrouck on a slap shot to clinch the Stanley Cup. Joe Sakic who led all playoff scorers with 18 goals and 34 points would earn the Conn Smythe.
1996/97: Coming off a Stanley Cup Championship in their inaugural season the Avalanche proved it was not a fluke as they won the President’s Trophy for the best overall record in the NHL with a mark of 49-24-9. In the playoffs the Avalanche would roll past the Chicago Blackhawks in six games and the Edmonton Oilers in five games to set up a rematch with the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals. Over the season following their initial playoff match up the Avalanche and Red Wings engaged in several brawls one that included Goalies Patrick Roy and Chris Osgood going one on one. The Avalanche would get off to good start capturing Game 1. However, the Wings would rally to win the next three games and take a 3-1 series lead. Facing elimination for the first time the Avalanche would erupt for a 6-0 win in Game 5. However, the Wings would end the Avalanche’s reign with a 3-1 win in Game 6.
1997/98: In their third season in the Mile High City the Avalanche remained at the top of the NHL elites winning their third straight Division title with a record of 39-26-17. However, in the playoffs the Avalanche would slip up in the first round losing to the Edmonton Oilers in seven games. The playoff stumble would cost Coach Marc Crawford his job as he is replaced by Bob Hartley following the season.
1998/99: With came expansion came realignment and the Avalanche were placed in the newly formed Northwest Division. However in their new Division the Avalanche remained at the top of the heap winning their fourth straight Division title. (fifth if you count their final year in Quebec while posting a 44-28-10 record.) Along the way the Avalanche got an infusion of youth as Chris Drury captured the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie. In the playoffs the Avalanche would top the San Jose Sharks in 6 games to set up a second round series with Detroit Red Wings. The Avalanche would quickly find themselves in a hole as they lost the first two games at home. However, the Avalanche would rock Detroit with an 11-goal landslide to even the series with wins in Game 3 and Game 4. From there the Avalanche would roll winning the next two games to take the series in six games. In the Western Conference Finals for the third time in four years the Avalanche would battle the Dallas Stars back and forth through the first four games before taking a 3-2 series lead home for Game 6. However, the Stars would come back to win the series in seven games claiming the final two games with identical 4-1 scores.
1999/00: For their fifth season in Denver the Avalanche had a shimmering new arena as the Pepsi Center replaced the crumbling McNichols Arena. In their new home the Avalanche would continue to roll over their division opponents winning their 6th straight division title with a 42-29-11-1 record. As the playoff approached the Avalanche added Ray Bourque one of the top defensemen in NHL history, in a trade with Boston Bruins. In the playoffs the Avalanche rolled their way to the Western Conference Finals again beating the Phoenix Coyotes and Detroit Red Wings each in five games. However, the Avalanche would fall to the Dallas Stars in a hard fought seven game war in which five games were decided by one goal.
2000/01: The season started out as a mission for Ray Bourque who desperately wanted to win the Stanley Cup in his final season. From the start of the season it was clear that the Avalanche would be the team to beat as they rolled to the President’s Trophy with a 52-16-10-4 record. Along the way another legend Patrick Roy made history as he broke Terry Sawchuk’s record for career wins with 448. In the playoffs the Avalanche would get off to a fast start as they swept the Vancouver Canucks in four straight games. However, in the second Round the Avalanche would hit a bumpy road as they lost back-to-back 1-0 games to the Los Angeles Kings after taking a 3-1 series lead. Facing elimination the Avalanche would bury the Kings 5-1 in Game 7. The Avalanche would find things easier as they blasted the St. Louis Blues in five games. In the finals the Avalanche faced the New Jersey Devils who once called Denver home. After the two teams split the first four games the Avalanche appeared to be in trouble as they dropped a crucial fifth game at home to fall behind 3-2 in the series. However facing elimination in New Jersey, Patrick Roy would rise to the occasion by stopping all 24-shots, while setting the career record for playoff shutouts in a 4-0 Avalanche win that sent the series to a seventh Game. Back at the Pepsi Center in Game 7 Roy was a brick wall again stopping 21 of 22 shots as Alex Tanguay scored twice in an Avalanche 3-1 win. Patrick Roy would go on to win his record third Conn Smythe award, as Ray Bourque road off into the sunset with the Stanley Cup.
2001/02: Despite missing Peter Forsberg for the entire regular season due to an assortment of injuries the Avalanche continued their reign at the top of the division winning their seventh division title in seven seasons since moving to Colorado with a record of 45-28-8-1. Along the way Patrick Roy became the first goalie to win 500 career games. In the playoffs the Avalanche were pushed to seven games by the Los Angeles Kings for the second year in a row after grabbing a 3-1 series lead. Once gain the Avalanche would bury the Kings in Game 7 winning 4-0. In the second round it was the Avalanche who needed to rally after being down 3-2 against the San Jose Sharks. After falling behind 1-0 late in the 2nd period the Avalanche would tie the game 34 seconds later and win the game 2-1 in overtime on a goal by Peter Forsberg who returned for the playoffs in midseason form. In Game 7 Patrick Roy would make 27 saves as Peter Forsberg scored the game’s only goal as the Avalanche made the Western Conference Finals for the 6th time in 7 seasons since moving to Colorado. Facing their hated rivals the Detroit Red Wings the Avalanche would take a 3-2 series lead to the Pepsi Center for Game 6. However, the Avalanche would not score another goal as the Red Wings forced Game 7 with a 2-0 win. In Game 7 it would only get worse as Patrick Roy had a rare bad game as the Red Wings buried the Avalanche with a 7-0 win in Detroit.
2002/03: With Patrick Roy showing his age and struggling early the Avalanche get off to a slow start, with Joe Sakic sitting out much of the first half due to injuries. With the Avalanche holding a mediocre 10-8-9-4 record on December 16th, Coach Bob Hartley is fired despite leading the Avs to at least the Western Conference Finals in his first four seasons. Under his replacement Tony Granato, the Avalanche would begin to turn things around as the team got healthy, as the season wound down the Avalanche played their best hockey as Peter Forsberg made a run for the scoring title. Forsberg charge for the scoring title also lifted the Avalanche into contention for a record ninth straight division title dating back to their final year in Quebec. On the final day of the season Pete Forsberg netted a goal to win the scoring title and lead the Avalanche into first place for the first time all season, as they finished one point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks with a record of 42-19-13-8. In the playoffs the Avalanche got off to a shaky start as they dropped Game 1 to the Minnesota Wild at home 4-2. However, the Avalanche would recover to easily win the next three games as they seemed to be cruising to the second round with a 3-1 series lead. However, with a chance to close things out at home in Game 5, the Avs would fall behind 3-0, on the way to a 3-2 loss. The Avalanche would fall behind again in Game 6 on the road but rallied with two late goals to force overtime. However once again the Avs would be stunned as Richard Park beat Patrick Roy in overtime to force a 7th game. Playing Game 7 at home less the 24 hours later the Avalanche would find themselves pushed to overtime again where Andrew Burnett out faked out Roy to give the Wild a stunning 3-2 win which eliminated the Avalanche. The stunning playoff collapse would bring an end to Goalie Patrick Roy’s career who retired holding several major records for goalies including wins at 551.
2003/04: With the retirement of Patrick Roy the Avalanche decided to add some scoring punch to help his replacement David Aebischer signing free agents Paul Karaka and Teemu Selanne. However, each failed to live up to expectations as neither scored 20 goals. However Aebischer played well in his first year started posting a 2.09 GAA as the Avalanche were in the hunt for their 10th straight division title. Battling the Vancouver Canucks down the stretch the fight for the Northwest Division turned ugly when Canucks star Todd Bertuzzi sucker punched Steve Moore from behind late in a March 8th game leaving the Avalanche Center with a broken neck. The Avs seemed to have the division in their hands, when they struggled down the stretch winning just two of their last ten games as their reign as division champs came to an end as they lost the division by one point to the Canucks posting a record of 40-22-13-7. In the playoffs the Avalanche got on track easily dispatching the Dallas Stars in five games. However in the second round David Aebischer struggled allowing nine goals in the first two games as the Avs lost both games on the road to the San Jose Sharks. Upon arriving home Aebischer would play better allowing just one goal, buy the Avs were held scoreless falling behind 3-0. In Game 4 facing a sweep Aebischer was sharp again stopping all 27 shots as the Avs won in overtime 1-0 on a goal by Joe Sakic. Sakic would again score the overtime winner in Game 5 as the Avs began to climb back in the series. However with a chance to force Game 7 with a win at home the Avalanche ran out of gas losing Game 6 by a score of 3-1.
2004/05: Season Cancelled Due to Lock Out
2005/06: Being one of the NHL’s biggest spending teams, the Avalanche were hurt by the new Salary Cap established during the lockout, as they lost Adam Foote, Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya and Peter Forsberg. Despite the heavy losses the Avalanche managed to play well through the first two months as posted a 14-8-3 record through 25 games. However they hardly played consistent hockey as Goalie David Aebischer struggled, and was eventually traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Jose Theodore. When the deal was completed Theodore was injured, and the Avalanche had to back up Petr Budaj could keep them in the playoff chase. Budaj would hold his own, but Theodore would struggle upon his return losing three of four starts, as the Avalanche finished with a 43-30-9 record, and only managed the seventh seed. Despite struggling down the stretch the Avalanche seemed reenergized by the start of the playoffs as they thumped the Dallas Stars with two five goal games to take a 2-0 lead on the road, then took a 3-0 series lead on a 4-3 overtime win as Andrew Brunette tied the game with 57 seconds left then Alex Tanguay won it for the second game in a row, 69 seconds in to overtime. After losing Game 4 at home the Avalanche got another overtime win on a goal by Andrew Brunette to eliminate the Stars in 5. However, in the second round the Avalanche would never be in the series as they lost the first two games to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim by a combined score of 8-0. As the series shifted to Colorado the Avalanche had their chances in Game 3 but lost in overtime 4-3, as Ducks went on to complete the sweep with a 4-1 win in Game 4. Following the season the Avalanche would re-sign Captain Joe Sakic, but said goodbye to Alex Tanguay, Dan Hinote and Rob Blake.
2006/07: The season began with the Avalanche in transition as only Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk were left from the 2001 Stanley Cup Championship team, while the rest of the roster was full of rookies like Paul Stastny, the son of Quebec Nordiques legend Peter Stastny. Not surprisingly the Avalanche got off to a slow start as they held a mediocre 18-18-2 record heading into the New Year. In the second half the Avalanche would play considerably better as they made a late run for the playoffs with a 15-2-2 run for the playoffs, as Stastny established himself as one of the league’s premiere young goal scorers with a 16-game point scoring streak as he was one of three finalist for the Calder Trophy with 28 goals and 50 assists. However, it would not be enough to get the Avalanche into the playoffs as they missed the postseason by one point with a record of 44-31-7.
2007/08: After missing the playoffs for the first time since moving to Colorado, the Avalanche signed free agent Defenseman Scott Hannan and left winger Ryan Smyth with the hopes of getting back to the playoffs. However, for the first two months the Avalanche continued to play mediocre hockey, posting a 13-10-1 record. Despite a three game losing streak to end December, the Avalanche began showing signs of getting going as they closed out 2007, winning the 1000th game in franchise history against the St. Louis Blues 9-5 on December 9th. However, as the New Year began the Avalanche continued to play inconsistent hockey, as every time it appeared, they were about to go on a run, they would suffer a losing streak. Hoping to finish the season strong the Avalanche looked to their past to get the team back into the playoffs signing unrestricted free agent Peter Forsberg on February 25th, and re-acquiring Adam Foote from the Columbus Blue Jackets a day later. The moves paid off as the Avalanche finished the season strong earning the sixth seed in the playoffs with a record of 44-31-7. In the playoffs the Avalanche faced the Northwest Division Champion Minnesota Wild in the first round. Thanks to an overtime goal by Joe Sakic, the Avs were able to get off to a fast start stealing Game 1 on the road 3-2. However, the Wild would recover to win the next two games in overtime, forcing the Avs into a must win Game 4 at the Pepsi Center. Thanks to an offensive explosion, the Avalanche were able to get that win, as five different players scored in a 5-1 win to even the series at two games apiece. Back in Minnesota for Game 5, the Avalanche took control of the series with two goals in 79 seconds in the third period for a 3-2 win. The Avalanche would close out the Wild, as Goalie Jose Theodore stopped 35 of 36 shots, including a third period flurry in a 2-1 win in Game 6. The Avalanche would find an old familiar foe in the second round, as they face the Detroit Red Wings. However, unlike the wars of the past this battle would be over quickly, as the Wings buried the Avalanche sweeping the series in four games, while outscoring them 21-9. The Red Wings would go on to win the Stanley Cup the Avalanche would go back to the drawing board, firing Coach Joel Quenneville and replacing him with Tony Granato.
2008/09: Tony Granato’s second tenure as head coach of the Avalanche would get off to a rough start as they lost their first three games to start the season. The Avs would win their next five games, but played mediocre hockey much of the first three months of the season, as they entered the New Year with a 19-17-1 record. However, they would have to finish the season without Captain Joe Sakic who played just 15 games, before a herniated disk forced him to finish what was planned to be his final season early. In January the bottom would fall out as the Avalanche slid out of the playoff race and into last place, as they won just four times. The Avalanche would continue to play awful hockey in February as they just five games. They would eventually go on to finish with the worst record in the Western Conference at 32-45-5, which was also their worst season since moving to Colorado. Following the season the Avalanche would undergo wholesale changes as new management led to a new Coach in Joe Sacco while Ryan Smyth was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, ending two disappointing seasons in Colorado. Finishing with such a poor record enabled the Avalanche to get some real talent in the draft, as they selected Matt Duchene with the third overall pick and began the process of building around youth.
2009/10: For the first time since moving to Denver, the Avalanche had a new captain, as Adam Foote replaced the retired Joe Sakic. The Avs would honor their longtime captain on opening night by retiring his number 19 as the Avalanche beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2. Under new Coach Joe Sacco, the Avalanche would get off to a terrific start, losing just one of their first 13 games in regulation. The Avalanche would not be able to keep up the pace as they struggled in November, but as the New Year began, they still were sitting near the top of the Western Conference with a record of 23-13-6. The Avs would continue to contend for the Northwest Division title as they went into the Olympic Break with a record of 35-50-6. Hoping to add some veteran leadership, the Avalanche acquired Stephane Yelle from the Carolina Hurricanes at the trade deadline. Yelle, was a big part of the Avalanche cup teams in 1995 and 2001, and was in his final season looking for one last playoff run. Initially the Avalanche continue to play well as they won five of eight games after the break. However, as the season came to an end the Avalanche went into a tailspin, winning just three of their last 13 games. Despite the struggles the Avalanche would hold on to the eighth seed in the playoffs with a record of 43-30-9. In the playoffs the Avalanche would face the San Jose Sharks. Game 1 would be won by the Avalanche, as Goalie Craig Anderson had a strong game; while Chris Stewart scored the game winner with 50 seconds left to give the Avs a 2-1 road win. Game 2 would be a different story as Anderson faced 52 shots. However, the Avalanche held a 5-4 lead late, until Joe Pavelski scored with 32 seconds remaining to force overtime. In OT the Sharks would even the series with a 6-5 win, on a power play goal by Devin Setoguchi. Coming home to the Pepsi Center it was Anderson again who played the hero stopping all 51 shots he faced as the Avs won 1-0 in overtime as Dan Boyle’s pass accidently slip past Sharks Goalie Evgeni Nabokov 51 seconds into OT. Ryan O’Reilly would get the credit as the goal scorer as the last Avalanche to touch the puck. Game 4 would also go to overtime as Anderson continued to be sharp in goal. However, the Sharks would win 2-1 to even the series on Joe Pavelsk’s goal at 10:24. In Game 5 back in San Jose, it would all unravel for the Avalanche, as the Sharks took control of the series with a 5-0 win. They would go on to close out the Avalanche with a 5-2 win in Denver in Game 6.
2010/11: After making the playoffs in 2010, the Avalanche had a quiet off-season, as Owner Stan Kroenke purchased the NFL’s St. Louis Rams, and had to give the Avs to his son do to NFL rules. The Avalanche suffered an early setback as Goalie Craig Anderson suffered a knee injury in warmups on October 26th. Despite the injury which kept Anderson out for a month, the Avalanche played well with back up Peter Budaj. Anderson would return in December, as the Avalanche has a solid six game winning streak that would have them sitting at 20-13-5 at the start of the New Year. After a mediocre January, the Avalanche would go on a landslide after the All-Star Break, as the won just one game in February, suffering a nine game losing streak, as Peter Forsberg returned and played just two games before retiring. At the trade deadline the Avalanche would deal Craig Anderson to the Ottawa Senators for Brian Elliott in a swab of struggling goalies. The struggles would continue in March, as had just two shoot out wins, dropping hopelessly out of playoff contention. The Avalanche would go on to finish the season with a record of 30-44-8, their worst record since moving to Denver, as Captain Adam Foote retired ending a 20 year career spent mostly with the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche franchise.
2011/12: The Avalanche would overhaul the goaltending position during the off-season as they acquired Semyon Varlamov from the Washington Capitals for a second round draft pick, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere was signed for a veteran presence to the younger Varlamov. In the draft the Avalanche continued to stockpile young talent selecting Gabriel Landeskog with the second overall pick, while Duncan Siemens was chosen with the 11th pick. The young Avalanche played well early, especially on the road, as they won six of seven away from the Pepsi Center in October. However, in November they would struggle, winning just four games. The Avs would start to turn things around in December, as they won seven of their last eight games, to enter the New Year with a record of 21-18-1. The Avalanche would start 2012 with two wins, but would struggle the rest of January, as they stayed on the fringe of the playoff race. Led by the strong play of Gabriel Landeskog, who was named Rookie of the Month in February, the Avalanche made a run with five wins in six games to enter March with a record of 33-27-4. However, a sluggish March would end any playoff hopes as the Avalanche missed the playoffs by seven points, posting a record of 41-35-6. There were plenty of bright spots, as Gabriel Landeskog won the Calder Trophy as the best rookie in the NHL as he finished tied for the most points among rookies with 52, while scoring a team high 22 goals. The Avalanche also got strong seasons from Ryan O’Reilly who had a team high 55 points and Paul Stastny who had 53.
2012/13: The Avalanche were a young talented team, but with a three month lockout delaying the season they had their work cut out for them. Reigning Calder Trophy winner Gabriel Landeskog made history before the season even started as he was named team captain, becoming the youngest captain in NHL history, at 19 years and 286 days old, 11 days younger than when Sidney Crosby was named captain. The burden was heavy for Landeskog who struggled, scoring just nine goals with eight assists in 36 games. The struggles of their captain reflected the Avalanche as a whole, as they finished with the worst record in the Western Conference at 16-25-7. The best players for the Avalanche were P. A. Parenteau and Matt Duchene who led the team in scoring with 43 points. Following the disappointing season the Avalanche had an organizational shake up as Josh Kroenke, son of owner Stan Kroenke, is now president of the Colorado Avalanche, succeeding Pierre Lacroix. Former Captain Joe Sakic took over the team’s player personnel decisions, while former Goalie Patrick Roy was named Vice President and Head Coach of the Avalanche, succeeding Joe Sacco.
2013/14: Coming off a season in which they were the worst team in the Western Conference, the Colorado Avalanche decided to bring in some heroes from the past to bolster the future. Longtime Captain Joe Sakic took an expanded role in Avalanche management, being named Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, overseeing all matters involving hockey personnel, while Goalie Patrick Roy returned to the Avalanche as head coach and vice president of hockey operations. The Avalanche started the season with a bang, burying the Anaheim Ducks in the season opener 6-1 at Pepsi Center, as they had six different goal scorers, while Roy argued with Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau and nearly broke the partition separating the benches. The Avalanche would start the season as the hottest team in the NHL, winning 14 of their first 16 games, with one of the youngest rosters in the league. Nathan McKinnon who was chosen with the first overall pick had an immediate impact on the Avalanche, with two assists in the Avs 6-1 win over the Ducks. The 18 year old, McKinnon would score his first goal ten days later in a 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals on October 12th. McKinnon would go on to finish the season with 24 goals, 39 assists and an incredible +20 as he was won the Calder Trophy given to the best rookie in the NHL. Only Captain Gabriel Landeskog, who was +21 with 26 goals and 39 assists, while Matt Duchene led the team in scoring with 70 points, highlighted by a team best 47 assists. Ryan O’Reilly would go on to lead Colorado in goals with 28. All four leading of these leading scorers were under the age of 25. With such a young team it is impossible to keep up such momentum and the Avalanche struggled through much of December. After starting 2014 with a record of 24-11-4, the Avalanche reestablished their momentum in January, winning ten games as they went into the Olympic Break with a record of 38-17-5. The Avalanche had four players representing their country in Sochi, with Paul Stastny on Team USA, Matt Duchene on the Gold Medal winning Team Canada, while Gabriel Landeskog Sweden and Semyon Varlamov represented host country Russia. When the season resumed the Avalanche finished nearly as strong as they had begun the season, winning eight of nine games to climb over the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues and into first place in the Central Division, finishing the season with a record of 52-22-8, which helped Patrick Roy win the Jack Adams Award as the NHL Coach of the Year.
2014 Playoffs: The Avalanche would face the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs, trailing 4-3 in the closing seconds of Game 1 the Avs would tie the game with 14 seconds left on a goal by Paul Stastny. In overtime Stastny would strike again giving the Avalanche a 5-4 win at 7:27 of overtime. In Game 2 it was Nathan McKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog that led the way in a 4-1 win. However, as the series shifted to Minnesota the Wild would turn up the defensive pressure, limiting Colorado to 22 shots as they won a 1-0 overtime thriller. The Wild would even the series with a 2-1 win in Game 4, as they again frustrated the Avalanche, allowing just 12 shots. The Avalanche would rebound in Game 5, rallying to tie the game late in regulation on a goal by P.A. Parenteau. In overtime, the Avalanche would win the game 4-3 on a goal by Nathan McKinnon. However, in Game 6 the Wild would again respond winning 5-2 to force a seventh game. In Game 7 the Wild would show their resiliency, tying the game four times after the Avalanche took a one goal lead. The game went into overtime tied 4-4, Nino Niederreiter scored his second goal of the game to end the season for the Colorado Avalanche.
2014/15: After winning the Central Division with one of the NHL’s youngest teams, the Colorado Avalanche looked to add some experience, signing Future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla. Iginla was as good as advertised, leading the Avalanche in scoring (59 points) and goals (29). The Avalanche stumbled out of the gate, opening the season with a 5-0 loss to the same Minnesota Wild that upset them in the playoffs, and won just one of their first six games. The Avalanche struggles continued through the first three months holding a record of 14-15-8 at the end of December. Part of the problem with the Avalanche was Goalie Semyon Varlamov who struggled with a groin injury through much of the first half. Varlamov was finally able to stay healthy in January as Colorado had their best month, winning seven games. The Avs could not maintain their success as they suffered a four game losing streak in February. Semyon Varlamov would finish the season with a 28-20-8 record, posting a mediocre 2.56 GAA. Another player who had a disappointing season, was Nathan McKinnon, who had a bit of a sophomore slump with 14 goals and 24 assists. The Avalanche with the playoffs slipping away, started March strongly, winning six of seven games, but there would be no saving their season as they finished last in the Central Division, with a record of 39-31-12.
2015/16: After a disappointing season put them last in the Central Division, the Colorado Avalanche hoped to bounce back and show the promise they had in 2014. The biggest change in the off-season saw the Avalanche send Ryan O’Reilly along with Jamie McGinn, to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Nikita Zadorov, forward Mikhail Grigorenko, prospect J. T. Comphe and a draft pick. The 2014/15 struggles continued for the Avalanche as they held a record of 9-14-1 at the end of October and November. The Avs finally got on track in December, as they won eight of ten games to start the month. The Avalanche were especially strong on the road, as they won six of seven away from Colorado. The Avalanche would shine home in January, winning six of eight games at the Pepsi Center as they continued to climb back into playoff contention. In their second home game of the New Year, Jarome Iginla reached elite heights with his 600th career goal as the Avalanche beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1. The Avalanche could not keep their momentum going in February as they played mediocre hockey, before ending the month with a disappointing 5-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in a Stadium Series game at Coors Field, with 50,095 fans in attendance. Looking to improve their defense the Avalanche landed Eric Gelinas at the trade deadline. As March began the Avalanche were in the heat of the race for the Wild Card position in the Western Conference. On March 20th the Avalanche appeared to be in good shape sitting at 38-31-4. However, they would win just one more game the rest of the season, as they dropped their final six games and missed the playoffs by just five points, finishing with a record of 39-39-4. Despite the disappointing finish, Matt Duchene had a fine season, leading the Avs with 30 goals and 59 points.
2016/17: Things got off to a rough start for the Colorado Avalanche before the season even started, as Patrick Roy resigned as coach and team Vice President a month before training camp started. With Jared Bednar taking over behind the bench played well in the early stages of the season as they won four of seven games in October. Over the next two months, the Avalanche suffer diminishing returns as they went into the New Year with a record of 12-23-1, while losing ten straight games at home. The Avalanche finally got a win at Pepsi Center, beating the New York Islanders 2-1 in overtime on January 6th. However, it was Colorado’s only win in January as they were in the midst of their worst season since coming to the Mile High City. The Avalanche would finish the season with the worst record in the NHL at 22-56-4, as they balanced their long home losing streak, by dropping their final 12 games on the road. It was an overall disastrous season for the Avalanche, with nearly everyone on the team having a subpar season, including Matt Duchene, who sulked all season while requesting a trade, scoring just 18 goals, while Nathan MacKinnon led the team in scoring with 53 points.
2017/18: Coming off their worst season since moving to the Mile High City, the Colorado Avalanche did not have high expectations. Matt Duchene let it be known right from the start of the season he was unhappy and expected to be traded. Colorado played well at the beginning of the year, winning four of their first five games, as they held a 6-5-0 record at the end of October. On November 4th, the Avalanche granted Duchene’s wish to be traded, sending him to the Ottawa Senators for Kyle Turris, Andrew Hammond, Shane Bowers, and two draft picks. The Avalanche would quickly trade Turris to the Nashville Predators for Samuel Girard, Vladislav Kamenev, and a draft pick. The Avalanche managed to tread water over the next two months and went into the New Year at 19-16-3. As 2017 ended and 2018 began, the Avalanche made a shocking surge into playoff contention, winning ten-straight games. The Avalanche would remain in playoff contention for the entire season. The Avalanche playoff hopes hinged on one game at the end of the year, as they hosted the St. Louis Blues with the final spot on the line in the last game of the season. With Gabriel Landeskog scoring one goal with two assists, the Avalanche beat the Blues 5-2 and made the postseason with a record of 43-30-9. It was a year of bounce-back seasons for the Avalanche in their quick turnaround. Nathan MacKinnon nearly doubled his output from the previous season, leading Colorado with 97 points and a team-best 39 goals. Mikko Ratanen also had a big season with 84 points, including 55 assists. Landeskog, the hero in game 82, had 25 goals while Tyson Barrie had 47 assists from the blueline. In goal Seymon Varlmalov, who was awful in 2017, had the most significant turnaround, posting a record of 24-16-6, with a 2.68 GAA and .920 save percentage.
2018 Playoffs: The Colorado Avalanche would take on the Nashville Predators in the first round. Nashville had posted the best record in the NHL during the regular season. In Game 1, the Predators looked like the NHL’s top team, ripping the Avalanche 5-2. Game 2 would be closer, but the result was the same, as Nashville won 5-4 and took a 2-0 series lead. At the Pepsi Center in Game 3, the Avalanche, who were strong at home all season, won 5-3 as Nathan MacKinnon scored two goals. In Game 4, Colorado fell behind 3-0, as their third-period comeback fell short in a 3-2 defeat. In Game 5, Andrew Hammond did his best impersonation of a brick wall, stopping 44 shots, as Sven Andrighetto scored with 1:15 left to give the Avalanche a 2-1 win in Nashville. Returning to Colorado, Hammond was unable to repeat the performance, as the Avalanche saw their season end with a 5-0 loss in Game 6.
2018/19: After their surprise playoff appearance, the Colorado Avalanche looked to improve their goaltending, as they acquired Philipp Grubauer from the champion Washington Capitals. The Avalanche started the season strong, with points in seven of their first nine games. After struggling in the early part of November, the Avalanche again went on another run, going 9-0-2 in an 11-game point streak. The Avalanche would not be able to continue their early winning ways as they struggled and went into a massive slump in December. From December 21st through February 12th, the Avalanche won just three games, posting a record of 3-13-5 over a 21-game period. Despite their brutal stretch, the Avalanche remained in playoff contention, due to how well they played early in the season, as they were among the best teams in the league after 25 games with a record 15-6-4. The Avalanche would get back on track with a five-game winning streak in February. After stumbling early in March, the Avalanche made a late push for playoffs, going 8-0-2. Once again, Colorado slipped into the postseason with the final spot in the Western Conference, at 38-30-14. Nathan MacKinnon again was Colorado’s leading scorer with 99 points, as he had 41 goals and 58 assists. Mikko Rantanen also had a terrific season, with 87 points, scoring 31 goals, while Gabriel Landeskog had 34 goals with 75 points. Philipp Grubauer, finishing the season with a record of 18-9-5, with a 2.64 GAA, and a .917 save percentage.
2019 Playoffs: In the playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche would take on the Calgary Flames, who were the top team in the Western Conference. The postseason would get off to a rough start, as the Avalanche suffered a 4-0 loss. Trailing 2-1 late in Game 2, the Avalanche tied the game on a goal by J.T. Compher and won the game in overtime 3-2 as Nathan MacKinnon lit the lamp at 8:27 of sudden death. At Pepsi Center, MacKinnon scored twice, as Colorado won 6-2 in Game 3. Game 4 would see the Avalanche overcome a 2-0 deficit in the third period to win 3-2 in overtime as Mikko Ratanen scored the tying and game-winning goals. With Ratanen scoring twice, the Avalanche would extinguish the Flames 5-1 to win the series in five games. The Avalanche would move on to face the San Jose Sharks in the second round. After a 5-2 loss in Game 1, the Avs bounced back to win Game 2 by a score of 4-3. With a chance to take control of the series, the Avalanche suffered a disappointing 4-2 loss in Game 3 at home. With Philipp Grubauer saving 32 shots for his first playoff shutout, the Avalanche evened the series at two games apiece with a 3-0 win. After an agonizing 2-1 loss in Game 5 in San Jose, the Avalanche returned home in Game 6, delivering a 4-3 overtime win to extend the series to a seventh game. The Avalanche would fall 3-2 in Game 7 but had high hopes going forward.
©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Hockey League. This site is not affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche or the NHL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on Page created on February 18, 2003. Last updated on March 30,2020, at 11:50 pm ET