Colorado Avalanche Need Sustained Success to Make Rebuild Stick

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 02: Erik Johnson
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 02: Erik Johnson /
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colorado avalanche
GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 23: Tyson Jost /

The Colorado Avalanche look successful in their current rebuild, but they need to stay on track for sustained success.

By the halfway mark of the season, the Colorado Avalanche had matched the number of wins they had throughout the entirety of 2016-17 and were one shy of matching their points total — which they did in the very next game, a win over the Dallas Stars.

Going into the All Star break, the Avalanche lost two in a row in their last roadie, which ended in St. Louis on Thursday. However, that was preceded by a 10-game winning streak. At the tine of writing, the Avs have a very respectable 27-18-3 record and 57 points — in the brutal Central Division, that’s good for last wild card space.

Last season’s debacle of 48 points was seen as the first step in a full rebuild for Colorado. However, we’ve been hearing about rebuilding since just before Matt Duchene was drafted in 2009 — about nine years now.

In that time, they’ve been an up and down team. After finishing last in the conference, they got a high draft pick — I’m talking about 2009, but, yeah, it happened again in 2013. Both times were followed with immediate success — making the playoffs. As we know, at the end of the 2013-14 season, they even won the Central Division.

And after both those events, the cycle started again. Colorado relapsed and fell down to a high draft pick again.

Last year the Avalanche were dead-last in the entire NHL. They were robbed of their first-overall pick, as well as the second and third. However, fourth-overall was still a nice, high draft selection.

And once again, this year we’re seeing success. Colorado is on-pace to make


97 points this year — a full


49 more than last season.

The Colorado Avalanche may or may not make the playoffs this season. However, 48 games into the season, it’s also clear they’re not going to collapse and totally embarrass themselves (and us) like they did last season. We can finally put stock that it’s the truth — this isn’t the same team as last year.

But… we’ve seen this cycle already. We don’t want the Avs to make the playoffs this season, miss them by a few points next year, then start their downward spiral again.

We want the Colorado Avalanche to lay the foundation for solid success.

I asked current and former Mile High Sticking contributors what they thought needed to happen for the Avalanche to make this a true rebuild and not just an anomaly. Let’s dive in.