Colorado Avalanche: 20 (Mostly) Fun Facts About the 2015-16 Season

Jan 22, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) and left wing Cody McLeod (55) celebrate shootout win over the St. Louis Blues at Pepsi Center. The Avalanche defeated the Blues 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 22, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) and left wing Cody McLeod (55) celebrate shootout win over the St. Louis Blues at Pepsi Center. The Avalanche defeated the Blues 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Sure, the Colorado Avalanche are coming off a tough loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, and will face the Stars tonight in an important game. But let’s lighten the load with some exciting facts about the Avs so far this season.

SB Nation’s Hockey Wilderness recently released this article about 20 dismal facts surrounding the Minnesota Wild so far this season. Since we here at Mile High Sticking are somewhat inclined to perpetuate any pain surrounding the Minnesota Wild, I have endeavored to do a similar post, similar only in the amount of facts.

We have some things to be proud of in Colorado this year, especially since we still inhabit the first wild card spot after losses by the Predators and Wild on Tuesday night, but constructive criticism is always a good thing to consider when striving for more.

Let’s hop to, eh?

Since December 1

1. The Colorado Avalanche have the second most points (36) in the Western Conference since December 1, only trailing Chicago (43) in that category.

2. They have gone 17-9-2 in that span, and have been one of the hottest teams in the league. Only Chicago, Washington (39), and Florida (39) have scored more points than them in that time frame. Montreal has been dismal with 11 points in that same amount of time.

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3. On December 1, the Colorado Avalanche were at 21 points, they were the third worst team in the conference, and the fifth worst in the league. They were dwelling at the bottom of the Central, and seven points out of a playoff spot. That’s not true anymore, as they currently sit at fifth in the conference, and 14th in the league.

4. Essentially, the Avs saw 15 losses in their first 25 games, and in the 28 games since then, they have seen 9 losses. Quite a turn around.

Power Play

5. The Avalanche are well versed in drawing penalties, as they are second in the league with total power-play opportunities (178); Arizona leads in that category with 185 opportunities.

6. Colorado is tied at third for total power-play goals in the league (35), but with their amount of opportunities, their percentage (19.7) drops to tenth overall in the league.

7. Since December 19, the Colorado Avalanche have operated at 25% on their power play. If that pace continues, then they will reach the top three in power play efficiency amongst the league.

Individual Stats

8. Matt Duchene has scored 22 goals since November 1. That total is only bested by Patrick Kane (24) and Alexander Ovechkin (23), and that’s some high company to be with. He could be amongst the NHL point leaders right now if it weren’t for his October slump.

9. Carl Soderberg is having a good season for the Avalanche, and especially of late. He has 21 points in the last 29 games.

10. Nathan MacKinnon is quietly having a career year for the Avalanche. He is on pace to tie his rookie point total at 63 points, but he’s also on pace for 27 goals, which would be a career best. (Prediction: He’ll turn it up late this season and break his career points total.)

11. Semyon Varlamov is HOT. In the last 22 games, Varly has a .924 save percentage, 2.10 GAA, and a scorching 15-5-2 record. Get on the train, boys, because he also just won his civil case, so he should be back in the lineup tonight.

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12. Francois Beauchemin is on pace for 36 points, which would be a career best nearing the twilight of his career. His previous best was in his rookie year with the Ducks when he notched 34 in 61 games that season.

13. Even though he was a feature in my recent post about who’s tradable on the Colorado Avalanche, Tyson Barrie has been finding the groove lately. He has 15 points in his last 21 games. Hopefully he starts to heat up even more.

14. Nick Holden is having a real good year for the Colorado Avalanche. He’s tied for third in defensive points on the Avs and is also on pace for a career year at 28 points.

Some Nice Filler

15. The Colorado Avalanche sport a 15-12 record on the road. That gives them 30 points on the road this season, which puts them at No. 4 in the league for total road points.

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16. A 12-4-1 record within the division has helped the Avalanche jump the standings this year, St. Louis  — with a 11-6-2 record in the division — is the only team close to the Avalanche in that statistic.

17. Their record against the West this season has also helped them get enough points to hold a wild card playoff spot to this point. Only Chicago (44), and St. Louis (41), have more points than the Avalanche (38) against the West this season. The Dallas Stars are tied with the Avs.

The Avalanche Need to Consider Some Things

18. The Colorado Avalanche have given up 144 goals this season, which is seventh worst amongst the league.

19. Their home record has not been good enough this season either. At 12-11-3, the Avs are the ninth worst team on home ice this season, and that needs to change.

20. The Avs are 20th in the league on the penalty kill, which is not the worst. But improvement could certainly end in more wins especially since they’ve taken 171 penalties this season, the sixth most in the league.

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So, there is certainly much to celebrate so far this year for the Colorado Avalanche, but there are at least a few things that they could keep in mind while moving forward this season.

Tonight the Colorado Avalanche face the Dallas Stars at 7:00 p.m.

The game will be the second of their four-game home-stand, and they need to start winning more games at home.