Apr 3, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) and teammates celebrate after defeating the New York Rangers 3-2 in a shootout at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche Season Highlights: Central Division Champions

We continue our look back at the 2013-2014 Colorado Avalanche season today by highlighting the Avs clinching the NHL Central Division.

Last season was a disaster for the Colorado Avalanche. They finished dead last in the Western conference and 29th out of 30 NHL teams. After four seasons, they fired former head coach Joe Sacco and hired Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy. They won the NHL draft lottery and selected Nathan MacKinnon with the #1 overall pick. Besides the coaching staff and MacKinnon, the Avs entered this season with essentially the same roster that finished at the bottom of the standings the prior year. From game one of the season though, the Colorado Avalanche proved that this wouldn’t be like last year. They opened up with a 6-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks and won 12 of their first 13 games. There were ups and downs during the season, but for the most part the Avs consistently played strong hockey and found a way to win games. The playoffs were essentially locked up at the end of March and it seemed like the Avs were going to finish second or third in the division and face the Chicago Blackhawks in first round. Then the first place St. Louis Blues started to falter and the Avs took advantage of things by going 8-0-1 from March 25 to April 10 and moving into first place in the division.

The Avs officially clinched the central division on the last day of the season when the Blues lost to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon, before the Avs even played their final game on Sunday night. The central division crown capped off what was an amazing season for the Avs and an amazing single season turnaround.

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