Last year, the Colorado Avalanche had one of the worst seasons of any team since the beginning of the salary cap era. They won a grand total of 22 games and finished the season with a dismal 48 points. During this time they allowed 112 more goals than they scored. The second lowest goal differential total was -63 (Arizona). Their 56 losses were more than the Montreal dynasty of the 70’s lost between 1975 and 1979 (46).
It was a season to forget in the Mile High state.
At the beginning of this year, the Avalanche were not met with much higher expectation than the last. They acquired one of biggest disappointing recent number one overall picks in Nail Yakupov during the offseason, and they continued to have trouble finding a landing spot for one of their only attractive trade pieces in Matt Duchene. Their goaltending may have marginally improved with backup Jonathan Bernier joining the team, but Semyon Varlamov remained as their underwhelming starter.
Fast forward to the start of game action and you would hardly be able to tell the Avs from their former self.
The Avs entered preseason and started surprising teams with their young energy and nothing-to-lose attitude. They ended up winning four out of six game, but it was shrugged of as “well it was only preseason.”
Now, the Avalanche have taken their success and translated it into the regular season, currently sitting at 4-1-0. Yakapov and Duchene lead the team with five points apiece, trailing only Sven Andrighetto at six. Moreover, they are riding a three game win streak, a larger win streak than they had all of last year.
- The Avs only won two in a row four times last year, and only twice did the back-to-back wins come in regulation. They totaled nine losing streaks that were at least three games, and even as long as nine and seven game skids.
- In three seperate five game periods last season they scored less than the six goals they netted on Wednesday.
- With four wins, they have already won over 18% of the games they won last year. With 18 goals, they have scored more than 10% of the goal total from last year.
Don’t expect the cup to return to Denver this year, it's still very early in the season, but their hot start has certainly taken a weight off the shoulders of their faithful.