4-14-14: The Avs were an incredible 8-0-1 in their last nine games, but they hit a speed bump at the end of the regular season, dropping a pair of games to San Jose and Anaheim, respectively. In a difficult year on a personal level, Semyon Varlamov still managed to post a .927 save percentage which is a vast improvement from last year's .903. Colorado will face Minnesota in the first-round.
4-7-14: The Avalanche had their six game winning streak snapped in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Penguins this past Sunday. They have a slim one point lead on the Blackhawks for second in the Central with a game in hand. They don't have Matt Duchene, who's out with a knee injury, but that has not presented a problem yet. Colorado is expected to have trouble without Duchene in the playoffs.
3-31-14: One season ago, the Colorado Avalanche finished dead last in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs for the third straight season. Coach Joe Sacco was fired. Last May, Joe Sakic was named executive vice president of hockey operations and two weeks later, Patrick Roy was hired as head coach. Flash forward to today and the Avs’ have clinched a playoff berth and have eclipsed the 100 point mark. Nathan MacKinnon is bonafide star in the making. Patrick Roy should win the Jack Adams award. Good times are back in Denver.
3-25-14: The Avs’ have just one win in their past five games played and have allowed at least five goals in three of those losses It looks as if a third place finish in the Central is Colorado’s destiny. They have slipped behind the Blackhawks and have a difficult final 11 games, seven of which will come on the road. A first round matchup with the defending champs looks to be in order. Nathan MacKinnon has just one goal in his past 13 games.
3-17-14: The Avalanche quietly remain one of the best teams in the entire league, but are overshadowed night-in and night out by an incredible Western Conference. Come playoff time, Patrick Roy’s squad could be a dark horse contender to represent the West in the finals. Patrick Roy will win the Jack Adams’ award and Nathan MacKinnon will win the Calder Trophy the NHL’s top rookie. Hockey is relevant again in the Mile High City and that’s a good thing for the NHL.
3-10-14: The Avs were another contending team that stood pat at the deadline, but it doesn't seem to have affected them as they beat Tampa Bay, Chicago and Detroit this past week. Now, they are only one point away from second place Chicago in the Central Division. Nathan MacKinnon is a sure bet lock to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie. MacKinnon broke Wayne Gretzky’s record for most consecutive games with a point as a rookie. MacKinnon now holds the record with 13 straight games with a point.
3-3-14: They followed a 6-4 loss to the Kings with a 4-2 victory over the Coyotes and a 6-3 win against the Lightning this past Sunday. The Avs’ are in third place in the Central, but second or even first place remains a possibility. They should finish no worse than third in the division. Colorado has allowed 172 shots over their past five games, which is an average of 34.4 per game. The addition of a veteran defenseman at the deadline could help.
2-10-14: The Avalanche suffered back-to-back losses to the Rangers and Flyers this past week, but enter the break 5-2-0 in their past seven games. They're making a push up the Central Division standings. With the Blackhawks stumbling, it's not out of the question for Colorado to grab the second spot in the division. They have a ways to go to get there, but the door has been opened. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon has seven goals and eight assists in his past 11 games. The Calder Trophy is his to lose.
2-3-14: With a 10-point lead on Minnesota for third place in the Central Division, Colorado is almost assured a post-season berth and will likely earn a first round matchup against either St. Louis or Chicago. Andre Benoit was an early surprise this season in Colorado after a career largely spent in Europe or in the high minors. The 30-year-old continues to average more than 20 minutes per game on the Avs blue line. Patrick Roy will be in consideration for the Jack Adams’ trophy.
1-27-14: The Avalanche dropped two of three games played last week after winning four straight. They are 7-3-1 in January and just about secure in a playoff spot. The Avs are seven points behind the Central-leading Blackhawks, but have two games in hand. Rookie goaltender Sami Aittokallio made his NHL debut this past Saturday and it marked the first time since the final game of the 2010-11 season that someone other than Semyon Varlamov or Jean-Sebastien Giguere started for Colorado.
1-20-14: Every time it looks like the Avs are on the verge of slumping, they pull themselves out of it. Colorado is now 8-1-1 in its last 10 games played. Colorado is looking likely to settle into either the second or third spot in the Central Division. They are two points back of St. Louis. Rookie forward Nathan MacKinnon has been held without a shot in a game only twice this season and now has shots in 15 consecutive games.
1-13-14: The Avs were skidding in December, but they've gathered themselves of late. They are 5-1-1 in their past seven games played. With the way the West is, Colorado look pretty secure in a playoff spot. However, they'll need to heat up in a big way if they want to win the Central or even earn home-ice advantage in a first-round playoff series. Backup goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere started 7-1-0, but hasn't won a game since Dec. 6.
1-7-14: Colorado snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Columbus this past Tuesday and has now won three straight games. They sit seven points back of St. Louis for second in the Central Division but seven points ahead of Minnesota in fourth. Semyon Varlamov's return to his early-season form after a mini-slump has been a big part of Colorado's success. He doesn't have a regulation loss in his last 10 decisions, and his save percentage over those games sits at .936.
12-30-13: The Avalanche have lost four straight games and five of their last six, but somehow they're still compiling points. They are 1-2-3 in their past six games. The Avalanche have been living off their 14-2 start for quite some time. Despite stumbling to 9-9-4 in their past 22 games, Colorado remain in a solid playoff position. The Avs’ are 5-for-18 with the man advantage in their past six games. Colorado must continue to get points if they want to make the playoffs.
12-23-13: Colorado has basically been a .500 hockey team for the last month or so, and kept that pace this past week winning two games and losing two. The Avalanche have fallen in the standings considerably despite their overall record. They now find themselves in a bubble position. Colorado has a 5-3-2 record against teams currently in a playoff position in the West, and an 18-7-0 record against everyone else. How this team plays in the second half of the year will determine if they make the playoffs or not.
12-16-13: Colorado has been struggling. The Avalanche are living off their 14-2-0 start as they are 7-7-1 since setting the league on fire over their first 16 games and 2-3-1 in December. Since they’re in the West, the Avalanche can't play .500 hockey from here on out and make the playoffs. It’s just not going to happen. Colorado’s next six games include a home-and-home with Dallas and matchups with the Blackhawks, Sharks and Kings. Good luck!
12-9-13: Colorado played three games in four days and had iffy results. The Avs’ were blown out by an 8-2 score in Edmonton, managed to beat Calgary by a single goal and then wrapped up the week with a 3-1 loss to Vancouver. Defense partners Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda lead the Avalanche with matching plus-17 ratings. However, Colorado will have to get used to life without Hejda for a bit as he’s expected to miss two weeks after tumbling awkwardly into the boards against Edmonton.
12-2-13: Colorado won two out of three games this past week with two wins over Minnesota. Semyon Varlamov has been strong in Colorado's net this season. However, it’s worth noting the strong performance by backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Giguere is 6-0-0 on the season with a .949 save percentage. He also picked a win this week. Matt Duchene should be considered for Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics and should be in contention for the Hart Trophy at season’s end. Duchene has 12 goals and eight assists for 20 points in 22 games played.
11-25-13: The Avalanche had a perfect week going 3-0 with wins over Chicago, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. That’s pretty impressive given all three of those teams would be in the playoffs if they started today. The Avs’ are 9-3-0 at the Pepsi Center and an equally impressive 8-2-0 away from Denver. Patrick Roy has to be the early favorite to take home the Jack Adams award as the NHL’s top coach. Nathan MacKinnon is making a case to take home Rookie of the Year honors too.
11-18-13: Last week was the worst week of the season for the Avalanche. For the first time all season, Colorado failed to register a point. They lost to both Florida and Carolina and got blown out by the high-powered Blues. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon fired 19 shots on net this week and got one goal and assist for his effort. His nine shots against Carolina more than doubled his previous game high. How will the Avs’ respond this week after a little adversity?
11-12-13: They no longer have the league’s best record but that hasn’t stopped the Avalanche from their winning ways. They won two out of three games this past week and scored a total of 12 goals. Colorado’s plus-26 goal differential is good for first in all of the NHL. The Avs have yet to lose on road and have only two losses at the Pepsi Center. I think it’s safe to say that Patrick Roy is the early leading candidate for the Jack Adam’s award for the NHL’s top coach.
11-5-13: Semyon Varlamov’s arrest on kidnapping charges was an off the ice distraction for the Avs. On the ice though, Colorado continued to thrive. They had a 3-2 overtime win over Dallas on Friday and followed that up by a resounding 4-1 win over Patrick Roy’s former team in Montreal on Saturday. The club is a perfect 10-0-0 when scoring the first goal this season. Last season when scoring first, Colorado had the second-worst record in all the NHL.
10-29-13: The Avalanche just keep on winning and many are starting to think this team is no fluke. They squeaked by the Penguins 1-0 to start of the week. Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s 34-save shutout of the Pens was impressive. They followed that up with solid home wins over the Jets and Hurricanes. Colorado’s power play is a top-10 unit in the league, but the most troubling aspect of that is they don’t register enough shots with the man advantage. No team is worse in the west than the Avs at getting shots through.
10-21-13: Colorado continues to win as they have an impressive 5-0 on the road. Patrick Roy seems to be pushing all the right buttons for the Avalanche right now. They won 1-0 Monday night in a thoroughly entertaining affair versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Cole Harbour natives Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon squared off for the first time against each other in the NHL. There are still major question marks regarding the Avs’ defense, but their depth up front and goaltending have been outstanding.
10-14-13: Patrick Roy and Avalanche are the NHL’s most surprising team early on. Semyon Varlamov, who lost 21 games last season, has been spectacular for the upstart Avs. His 1.00 GAA and .970 save percentage are top’s among all goalies in the NHL. Colorado has tied the 1994-95 Quebec Nordiques for the second best start in franchise history. Inevitably, there will be loss sometime soon for Colorado. How they handle and rebound from it will show the true resolve of this team?
10-7-13: The Avs’ have been one the most impressive teams to watch early on. They clobbered Anaheim 6-1 on opening night in Denver, which saw head coach Patrick Roy go crazy on Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. They followed that up with a solid win over Nashville. Goalie Semyon Varlamov is proving his critics wrong early on. That Nathan MacKinnon kid is sure fun to watch, eh?
9-4-13: After finishing dead last in the West last season, the youth of the Colorado Avalanche are fed up with their growing pains. Veterans Alex Tanguay and Corey Sarich have replaced David Jones, Shane O’Brien, and Aaron Palushaj. At the helm, the Avalanche hope that Semyon Varlamov will mirror his first season with Colorado with a 2.59 GAA and save percentage of .913. Newly appointed coach, Patrick Roy, has noted to media that there is only one option, coupled with a starving attitude for his 2013-14 squad- a Stanley Cup attitude.
The realignment is an uphill contest for the young squad with the St, Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, and, arguably, the Minnesota Wild, peering down from the mountaintop. Whose to say the Avalanche bury their rivals’ dreams beneath a flurry of success under their new coach.
8-22-13: Colorado have signed Captain Gabriel Landeskog to a seven-year contract extension. The deal will keep Landeskog in Colorado through the 2020-21 season. After being selected second in the 2011 draft, Landeskog was the NHL's top rookie, winning the 2011-12 Calder Memorial Trophy.
7-23-13: The Avalanche and Matt Duchene have agreed upon a five-year extension through the 18-19 season.
Avalanche 2013 NHL Draft Summary
Pick #1: Nathan MacKinnon, C
Pick #32: Chris Bigras, D
Pick #63: Spencer Martin, G
Pick #93: Mason Geertsen, D
Pick #123: Will Butcher, D
Pick #153: Ben Storm, D
Pick #183: Wilhelm Westlund, D