Division Rivals: Colorado Avalanche vs Dallas Stars


It was always a delight this season when the Colorado Avalanche faced the Dallas Stars. Not only are the teams well-matched as they play an exciting, open brand of hockey, but the Avalanche also won all five of their meetings.

To be clear, the Colorado Avalanche didn’t exactly dominate the Dallas Stars. Indeed, the Avs definitely won a game or two they didn’t deserve. However, the faults in the Stars’ stars (ahem) were even more significant than the Avalanche’s, and that was a pleasant relief this season.

Most of the games were close — either one-goal games or shootout victories — but the Avalanche pulled out two decisive wins as well.

November 29, 2014

The Colorado Avalanche started strong against the Dallas Stars, taking the first game 5-3.  The Avalanche played all kinds of good hockey, taking shots, earning power play goals. That’s right, the Avalanche outshot their opponent for once 47-24. They also earned not one but two power play goals. In fact, the power play goals came from the big guns, center Matt Duchene and captain Gabriel Landeskog.

This was such a beauty of a game. If only the Avalanche had played this way for the majority of the season… Well as head coach Patrick Roy would say, “If and if, my aunt would be my uncle.”

January 10, 2015

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This January game was the one-goal game that the Avalanche took at Pepsi center, 4-3. This was also scarily retro Avalanche hockey — the kind that saw the Avalanche get outshot and even go down early. Indeed, Colorado allowed two goals in the second period.

And then defenseman Erik Johnson started Colorado’s scoring midway through the second, followed closely by center John Mitchell. Centers Nathan MacKinnon also scored goal — by shooting the puck every time it touched their sticks (six and five shots respectively).

This was a game the Avs, strictly speaking, maybe didn’t deserve to win in regulation. Weirdly, it’s also a game that saw Johnson take not one but two delay of game penalties for shooting the puck over the glass.

February 3, 2015

Speaking of games the Colorado Avalanche maybe didn’t deserve to win, this early February game was one such. They were outshot again, this time 32-24. They went down 2-0 early and only forced overtime — and the eventual shootout — by scoring in the waning seconds of the game. (Tyson Barrie)

This was also the game that went 11 rounds of shootout with captain Gabriel Landeskog earning the eventual game winner on a humorously awkward play:

Feb 3, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) lands on top of Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) after Landeskog scores a goal during the overtime shootout at the American Airlines Center. The Avalanche defeat the Stars 3-2 in the overtime shootout. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche won the game 3-2.

February 14, 2015

This game was Valentine’s Day done hockey style. This game saw energy player Cody Mcleod earn an impressive 30 minutes of penalty minutes as he appeared to take on the entire Dallas bench, get ejected from the game and earn top star honors for the night.

The Valentine’s Day massacre was made complete by the fact that the Avalanche dominated the Stars, winning 4-1. The big guns — Gabriel Landeskog, Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla — scored. Everberg rounded out the goals with a third-period tally.

February 27, 2015

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The Dallas Stars had to be getting frustrated that they would often outplay the Colorado Avalanche and not get the win. For a change, the Avalanche put their boot on the throat. The Avalanche mostly got out-played again, and they nonetheless won in the shootout.

Neither goalie was sharp in this game considering the score was 5-4.  However, the Stars blew not one, not two, but three leads. The Avs didn’t even have to wait until the waning seconds of the third to tie the game — Landeskog got the game-tying goal midway through the period. Varlamov was also the superior goalie in the shootout, stopping all three while center Ryan O’Reilly managed one against Kari Lehtonen.


For whatever reason, the Colorado Avalanche had the Dallas Stars’ number, It’s encouraging because the two teams play a similar style, meaning the Avs are the better team in fast, wide-open hockey. Unfortunately, some of the wins came because Dallas made mistakes, not because Colorado played better.


The Colorado Avalanche can’t rely on late-game goals as a recipe for success. The Avs are fast and can score — that’s what they need to focus on. They also need to be disciplined about taking penalties.

Shooting the puck also worked in the five-game series against the Stars.

Next: Avalanche Free Agency: Top RFA Defensemen

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