Colorado Avalanche: Nothing but Pride for 2018-2019 Season

DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: Members of the Colorado Avalanche salute the crowd after the victory against the Calgary Flames in Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Pepsi Center on April 17, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Flames 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: Members of the Colorado Avalanche salute the crowd after the victory against the Calgary Flames in Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Pepsi Center on April 17, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Flames 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Avalanche gave the fans a fantastic season. We’re sorry it ended when it did, but we have nothing but pride in our team.

The Colorado Avalanche, from the players to the front offices to the PR team and, most especially, the fans should hold their heads up high. To quote defenseman Erik Johnson from a few seasons ago, it was a helluva ride.

I wanted to give myself some time to process a very disappointing Game 7 loss. If you saw last night’s rant post:

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You’ll see I needed to get some perspective. Well, I still think it was one of the worst calls on the stupidest of rules ever made, and the San Jose Sharks’ advancement to the third round was akin to a court having to release a rapist because of a technicality. But, whatever, I’m not going to let their perfidy color our season.

And what an exciting season it was. We’ve got, unfortunately, too much time to unpack the whole season. But we have less time than we did last year, and far less time than we did the year before. Because the Colorado Avalanche not only had a successful season, they made the playoffs and even won a playoff series.

That may seem a little hollow now, but think of where we were just 24 months ago — coming off the dismal 48-point season, already knowing we’d lost the Draft Lottery, and despairing how painful the next few years would be.

Now, we’ve got our superstar — we have a superstar — stating he felt the team had a chance to win it all — win the actual Stanley Cup this year. Nathan MacKinnon‘s post-game quotes:

"“We felt, especially with how the East was shaking out and with the West as well, that we could have won the Cup this year. It’s so disappointing. We truly felt that we could have won everything. It was up for grabs. It was the year of the upset.”"

Yes, it’s disappointing. But exiting in the second round is a lot less disappointing than being the laughingstock of the entire NHL.

The Avalanche could have won the Cup this year, because of the first-round exits, but most years (I reserve the right to change that if the NHL gives the Cup to the Sharks) the best team wins. Colorado isn’t quite there yet.

Not quite. But maybe next year. Nate stayed in god-mode. Mikko Rantanen became a legitimate star on his own. Gabriel Landeskog came into his own. We have a solid goalie, good role player support, and some youngsters developing into some damn fine NHL players. And we’ve got two first-round picks to keep filling the coffers.

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Maybe next year, Avs Nation. The Colorado Avalanche aren’t going anywhere. If they showed us nothing else this season — and, to be clear, they’ve showed us a lot — they showed us last season wasn’t a fluke. They’ve taken the next step.

And we’re here for the ride — another helluva ride next season.