Colorado Avalanche Report Card: Metropolitan Division

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 16: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Washington Capitals at the Pepsi Center on November 16, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Capitals 6-2. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)"n
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 16: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Washington Capitals at the Pepsi Center on November 16, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Capitals 6-2. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)"n /
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The Colorado Avalanche did quite well against the Metropolitan Division during the 2017-18 season. Find out the grades the team earned in each series.

The Colorado Avalanche faced Metropolitan Division teams for a total of 16 games for the 2017-18 season. Overall, they did quite well, winning more than they lost and scoring more goals than they allowed.

So far we’ve looked at each Central Division team individually:

We also looked at how the Avs did against the Pacific Division and the Atlantic Division. Now let’s drill deeper into how Colorado did against some of the Eastern Conference teams.

Let’s complete the series by evaluating how the Avs did against the Metropolitan Division.

Carolina Hurricanes

1-1, 6 goals for, 6 goals against

  • Nov. 2, 2017, at Colorado: Colorado 5, Carolina 3
  • Feb. 10, 2018, at Carolina: Carolina 3, Colorado 1

The Avalanche split the series with Carolina, with each team winning at home. The Hurricanes had an up and down season, so it’s not great that Colorado dropped one to them. However, the road game was the first of a back-to-back, and they were victorious the next night against the Sabres, for what that’s worth.

Patrik Nemeth scored his first NHL goal in the home game against the ‘Canes:

Colorado Avalanche vs Carolina Hurricanes Team Grade: C

Columbus Blue Jackets

1-0-1, 6 goals for, 5 goals against

  • Jan. 4, 2018, at Colorado: Colorado 2, Columbus 0
  • Mar. 8, 2018, at Columbus: Columbus 5, Colorado 4 (OT)

Colorado played a couple of tight games against the Blue Jackets. The two teams seemed really well-matched last season. What’s more, Colorado never dropped a decision in regulation — rather, their one loss was in OT, so at least they got that point. Jonathan Bernier recorded the shutout in the home game.

Mikko Rantanen had a hand in both goals at home, scoring one himself and assisting Matthew Nieto on the other:

Colorado Avalanche vs Columbus Blue Jackets Team Grade: B-

New Jersey Devils

0-2, 2 goals for, 6 goals against

  • Oct. 7, 2017, at New Jersey: New Jersey 4, Colorado 1
  • Dec. 1, 2017, at Colorado: New Jersey 2, Colorado 1

After the whole Will Butcher debacle — though I feel the Colorado Avalanche ultimately won because we picked up their draftee, Alexander Kerfoot — I really wanted the Avs to beat the Devils. They failed to do so even once. What’s more, the Devils handed Colorado their first loss of the season and only loss on an otherwise stellar road trip. And while Kerfoot did record and assist against New Jersey, Butcher recorded two.

Kerfoot’s assist on J.T. Compher’s goal:

Colorado Avalanche vs New Jersey Devils Team Grade: D

New York Islanders

1-1, 10 goals for, 7 goals against

  • Nov. 5, 2017, at New York: New York 6, Colorado 4
  • Dec. 31, 2017, at Colorado: Colorado 6, New Jersey 1

The Avalanche traded Matt Duchene right in the middle of the first period of the first game against New York. Needless to say, that was a huge distraction, not to mention removing one of Colorado’s best forwards from the rotation. So, I’m definitely not going to fault the Avs for the November loss. And they came back with a decisive victory at home.

Duchene traded in the most awkward way possible:

Colorado Avalanche vs New York Islanders Team Grade: B

New York Rangers

2-0, 7 goals for, 3 goals against

  • Oct. 5, 2017, at New York: Colorado 4, New York 2
  • Jan. 20, 2018, at Colorado: Colorado 3, New York 1

The Avalanche did very well against New York, beating them both times. The first was in the Avs’ season-opener on the road. They they handled the Rangers at home.

Say what you will about him, Matt Duchene got the first goal of the season for the Colorado Avalanche:

Colorado Avalanche vs New York Islanders Team Grade: A

Philadelphia Flyers

1-1, 6 goals for, 6 goals against

  • Nov. 4, 2017, at Philadelphia: Colorado 5, Philadelphia 4(SO)
  • Mar. 28, 2018, at Colorado: Philadelphia 2, Colorado 1

The Colorado Avalanche needed to win their home game against the Flyers. They were in the playoff hunt then and needed to pretty much win every game at home. Granted, the Avs still made the playoffs, but still. The one time Colorado beat Philadelphia, it took all the way to the shootout to do so.

Mikko Rantanen got the shootout winner as well as one of the goals during the November game:

Colorado Avalanche vs Philadelphia Flyers Team Grade: C-

Pittsburgh Penguins

2-0, 6 goals for, 3 goals against

  • Dec. 11, 2017, at Pittsburgh: Colorado 2, Pittsburgh 1
  • Dec. 18, 2017, at Colorado : Colorado 4, Pittsburgh 2

It’s always a delight for Nathan MacKinnon to do better than his mentor, Sidney Crosby, in a game. Even better when Crosby’s Penguins are the reigning Stanley Cup champions. The Avalanche beat Pittsburgh in both games.

MacKinnon dangles Crosby:

Colorado Avalanche vs Pittsburgh Penguins Team Grade: A

Washington Capitals

1-1, 8 goals for, 7 goals against

  • Nov. 16, 2017, at Colorado: Colorado 6, Washington 2
  • Dec. 12, 2017, at Washington: Washington 5, Colorado 2

The Washington Capitals are a tight, disciplined team that just happen to be challenging for the Stanley Cup right now. They’re who I want the Avs to be when they grow up. Therefore, I’m pretty satisfied with their splitting the series. Gabriel Landeskog also scored his first career hat trick against the Caps at home.

Overall, the Colorado Avalanche went 9-6-1 against the Metropolitan Division with 51 goals for and 43 goals against.

Colorado Avalanche vs Metropolitan Division Team Grade: B+