Colorado Avalanche Should be Proud of the First Week

Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche played some tough opponents in their first week of hockey, and they should be proud of the results.

The Colorado Avalanche don’t play their next game until Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets. And, the long break gives us writers plenty of time to reflect on how the first week went.

Even though the team was inconsistent, and the results were varied, they didn’t play one game against a non-playoff team from last year.

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And, they came out with a winning record in their first five games.

That’s nothing to scoff at considering the level of competition they were facing too. In other words, these weren’t any playoff sneak-ins last season.

Level of Competition

The Dallas Stars won the Central Division — the toughest division in hockey — last season, and led the entire Western Conference in points.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were the hottest team to end the year last year, and yeah they won the Stanley Cup.

The Washington Capitals dispatched of opponents with ease during the regular season, and won the President’s Trophy along the way.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have been to the Eastern Conference final for the past two years, and lost the Stanley Cup in 2015 in six games.

The Florida Panthers won the Atlantic Division last year, the same division the Lightning play in.

That’s some top tier talent in the NHL, and the Avs only lost to the Capitals and Panthers in games where they didn’t consistently execute their systems like they did in the other three games.

In other words, they weren’t playing games against playoff talent like the Red Wings, Wild, or LA Kings, who all limped into the playoffs last year.

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They were playing against the best playoff teams of last year, all of whom advanced past the first round of playoffs except for the Florida Panthers.

Furthermore, if they are able to play this top-end talent with a winning record, then the upcoming games present an opportunity for the Avalanche.

What is on the Docket for the Avs?

The Colorado Avalanche play seven out of their next ten games at home. The combined record of the teams they are playing in those ten games is currently 23-26-2.

However, nine out of ten of those games come against Western Conference opponents. And, six of the ten are against Central Division opponents, so it’s not like the schedule will be easy for them by any means.

The combined record might be encouraging, but the level of competition is still going to be difficult. Furthermore, this is an important time for the Avalanche to establish some confidence on home ice.

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It’s also a chance for the Avs to establish themselves as one of the threats in the Western Conference. In other words, with nine games against Western Conference opponents coming in the next ten games the Avalanche have a chance to distance themselves from the field in the Western Conference.

Also, with six of those games coming against the Central Division, they have a chance to distance themselves from division competition.

And, it should be noted that five out of those ten opponents were playoff teams last year. The Colorado Avalanche obviously have no cake walk to start the season, as 10 out of their first 15 games feature playoff opponents from last season.

These ten games are going to be a measuring stick for the Colorado Avalanche. However, if they can focus on playing more consistently, and beating opponents that they should beat, then I predict the Avalanche to be sitting pretty nicely in the standings by the time that November 16 rolls around.


This is an important time in Colorado Avalanche territory. And, even though they came out just above .500 in the first five, this team has proven an ability to play against top-end talent in the NHL.

With the gauntlet now turning to the Western Conference and establishing a presence on home ice, the Avs need to continue working on consistency.

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Still, the results are starting to come, and every team is experiencing a bit of inconsistency at this time in the year. The good teams will start to separate themselves soon like oil from water, and the Avalanche need to make sure they are among that group to start this season.

So, as Friday takes its time — waiting in the distance — just keep in mind that the Avalanche have had some success this season. In other words, they’re pointing in the right direction.

That’s all for today folks, thank you for stopping by.