Colorado Avalanche : Statistics to Watch Next Season

DENVER, COLORADO - JANUARY 04: Nathan MacKinnon #29 and Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche confer before a faceoff against the New York Rangers at the Pepsi Center on January 04, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - JANUARY 04: Nathan MacKinnon #29 and Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche confer before a faceoff against the New York Rangers at the Pepsi Center on January 04, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Colorado Avalanche can make some milestones this season. Here are some statistics to watch for.

With silly season mostly wrapped up now and training camp approaching next month, the Colorado Avalanche roster looks mostly finalised. Mostly.

There is still the question of Mikko Rantanen re-signing with the Avalanche, but I believe that this is merely a case of waiting to see how much a certain Maple Leafs winger gets and what sort of incentives he picks up. As far as this writer is concerned, there will be a jersey marked “Rantanen 96” on the ice in Burgundy & Blue next season.

My focus today is going to turn towards the statistical milestones, both personal and franchise, which are being pursued by members of the team over the 82 games.

Thanks to the stat keepers at Quant Hockey and Hockey Reference, I have compiled this handy guide to next season.

It is worth noting that there are two record books relating to the Colorado Avalanche. The book of all time Nordiques / Avalanche stats and that of the Denver tenure (1995-present). I will focus on both through this article.

Games Played

All time Leader: Joe Sakic (1,378); Avalanche Leader: Milan Hejduk (1,020)

Let’s start with our fantastic Captain. Gabe Landeskog, aside from joining Instagram last season, also had a career year as one member of the best line in hockey. It feels good to say that! Currently he sits at 7th in Avalanche history and 11th in franchise history with 579 games played. He can pass Matt Duchene (586), Alex Tanguay (598) and Cody McLeod (659) with a total of 80 games played this year. Steven Finn (605) and Anton Stastny (650) are also on the franchise list.

Erik Johnson (514) and Nathan MacKinnon (456) are likely to be fighting each other for a position in the top 10 of the Avalanche list by the end of the season. Avs’ announcer, John-Michael Liles is currently in 10th with 523 games played. Given that Johnson is doubtful for the start of the season, it’s unknown how many games he will miss.


All time leader: Joe Sakic (625); Avalanche leader: Sakic (391)

It’s our Captain again – Landeskog is a mere 25 goals short of moving into a tie with Peter Forsberg for third all time on the Avalanche list with 202. I have no doubt that he will pass Matt Duchene within the first month week of the season, as he only needs 2 more.

Let’s not rule out MacK here either. He currently has 155 goals and has scored over half of his NHL goals in the past two seasons. I think that there is a 50 goals season lurking in there, so why not suggest that he can crack the Avalanche top 3 this year? Dream big – it’s what we’re here for.

Mikko Rantanen is likely to crack the 100 goal plateau. He stands at 80 through three ridiculous seasons, each better than the last. Does this even mean a couple of 100 point seasons? Assuming that the contract is not going to be an elephant in the room, it is a distinct possibility. 26 goals will move him up to 10th in the Avalanche list.

As I have said, these statistics are Avalanche only. For the franchise, we may have Landeskog and MacKinnon climbing up to around 6th on the franchise list. Rantanen reaching 106 goals would still leave him at least 60 goals shy of Alex Tanguay who would fall to 10th in the wake of MacK, with 167 goals.

Honourable mention – J.T. Compher. 18 goals required for 50 career markers. Not much, but we all have to start somewhere. Nazem Kadri needs 39 goals to reach 200 for his career. I’m going to call that unlikely. It would be awesome to watch, if he did get it, though.


All time leader: Joe Sakic (1,064); Avalanche leader: Sakic (624)

Nathan MacKinnon is the active leader here, 247 career assists, which is 7th in Avalanche and 11th in franchise rankings. He’s going to pass Duchene (250), but the real tall ask is to pass Paul Stastny with 298. 51 assists is within reach of our superstar this year and I’m sure that 100 points is too for a season, so let’s get to 5th in the Avalanche rankings. This would be good for 9th on the franchise list.

Landeskog is following in the wake of MacK (this is becoming a theme) and will probably be 11th on the franchise list by season’s end. Mikko (129) will continue to rake and will also be making inroads to the Avalanche top 10, currently occupied by Liles at 207. Him cracking the top 10 is a project for the 2020-21 season.

Of course, we have some personal milestones further down the line combos: Nazem Kadri needs 4 more for 200; Matt Calvert needs 8 more, Andrei Burakovski 17, Joonas Donskoi needs 23 and Ian Cole 10 more each to reach 100 assists.


All time Leader: Joe Sakic (1,641); Avalanche Leader: Sakic (1,016)

Matt Duchene is set to be knocked off another top 10 by both Landeskog and MacKinnon this term, his 428 points set to be overhauled by Landeskog’s 416 and MacKinnon’s 402 in short order. Both men should pass both Paul Stastny (458) and Alex Tanguay (488) during the next season, with MacK passing Landeskog some time around the end of October / early November.

Rantanen should find himself around 9th-10th on the list after this season, with Tyson Barrie currently occupying 9th spot with 307 points. Thank you for your service, sir – I hope Cale Makar makes short work of your records. Not because I dislike Tyson Barrie, I just want Makar to be really successful.

Potential milestones for the year: MacKinnon – 98 for 500; Landeskog – 84 for 500; Rantanen – 91 for 300; Nazem Kadri – 43 for 400; Colin Wilson – 18 for 300; Erik Johnson – 13 for 300; Matt Calvert – 25 for 200

Game Winning Goals

More from Mile High Sticking

All time leader: Joe Sakic (86); Avalanche leader: Milan Hejduk (59)

Hejduk just beats out Sakic’s 56 game winners for first place on the Avalanche list and third place is currently a tie between Peter Forsberg and Nathan MacKinnon, with 35 each. It would take a tally of 12 game winners for MacK to reach 3rd for the franchise, tying him with Michel Goulet‘s 47. That would equal a career high, set during his breakout *cough* MVP *cough* 2017-18 campaign. Certainly achieveable.

Gabe Landeskog is 10th on the Franchise list and can also move up with a good showing this year. I would say Anton Stastny (31) is well within reach. Gabe only needs 5 game winners to tie there.

Penalties in Minutes (PIM)

All time leader: Dale Hunter (1,562); Avalanche leader: Cody McLeod (1,359)

It’s hardly an achievement in most hockey circles, but players such as Hunter and McLeod have often been lauded for their gritty style of play over the years. Landeskog (442) leads the active Avs in this category and Erik Johnson (312) and Nikita Zadorov (263) holding the second and third spots, nothing much will change her in the coming year. None of these numbers is good enough to challenge Gord Donnelly for 10th place on the franchise list. Expect Ian Cole to provide more fireworks the same as last season, boosting him up the Avalanche list, at the very least.

Plus / Minus

All time leader: Peter Forsberg (+210); Avalanche leader: Forsberg (+193)

I felt we needed some love for another offensive juggernaut from years past, since Joe Sakic has most of the offensive records sewn up. There are only two active Avs in the top 50 since moving to Denver – Landeskog (+38) is 12th and could move up to 9th on the Franchise list into a 3-way tie with Rob Blake and Alexei Gusarov, with +55 if he replicates his form of last season.

Nathan MacKinnon is 18th with +26 and a third member of last season’s squad was here – Patrik Nemeth had quietly established himself as a good stay at home defenseman with a solid +32 rating in 142 games.

Powerplay Goals

All time leader: Joe Sakic (205); Avalanche leader: Milan Hejduk (140)

It’s likely that MacKinnon will make some more strides towards the Avalanche summit this year, passing Adam Deadmarsh (45), Landeskog (46), Paul Stastny (47) and possibly even Peter Forsberg (54) in pursuit of 3rd place since the franchise settled in Denver. Reaching 54 will settle him at 6th on the all time list, assuming he passes Gabe next year. He will still have a few Stastnys to pass if he wants a shot at Sakic’s numbers though, as both Anton and Peter have over 100 PP markers each.

I’m left wondering where on this list Cale Makar will find himself. 6 PPG for the Avalanche top 50.

Short-handed Goals

All time leader: Joe Sakic (32); Avalanche leader: Sakic (20)

An easy list to make progress on, if you find yourself on the penalty kill unit. J.T. Compher has been making himself comfortable on this list last season and will hopefully continue to do so, adding to his 5 Shorties. One more and he will be in the Franchise top 10, which would be quite the achievement, as he is establishing himself as a decent penalty killer.

Matt Nieto may also benefit from some outlet passes that led to some Playoff SHGs last term and give him a nice boost up the rankings from 23rd on the Avalanche list with 2.


I know that there is nothing much to talk about here, as we have a new backup and a starter entering the second year of his deal and the first as the bona-fide number 1. Still, it’s worth a brief look into the numbers:


All time Leader: Patrick Roy (262); Avalanche Leader: Roy (262)

Phillip Grubauer is currently in 12th place with 18 wins. I think that he can easily double that and should be realistically looking at Jose Theodore (42) or Craig Anderson (51) for where he will be after the season. 33 wins is reasonable to shoot for in a starter and is by no means a league record. Both of those goalies hold 9th and 10th on the Franchise list.

Pavel Francouz played two games in relief last year and was unlucky not to be given a chance to win a single game before Varly returned from the injured reserve. A single win will enter him into the top 20 for the Avalanche, while he should be looking at 13th for reaching between 12 and 18 wins


All time Leader: Patrick Roy (37); Avalanche Leader: Roy (37)

Grubauer is currently 11th in the Franchise list with 3 shutouts from last year and doubling that tally would put him to a tie for 6th with Mario Gosselin & Stephane Fiset. I feel that Craig Anderson’s total of 7 is reachable this year, especially as he should have a better Defensive corps in front of him.

There is of course always a myriad of statistics to pick your way through for comparing how great today’s roster is against Avalanche teams of the past, or our current rivals.

Next. Can the Avs Overthrow the Preds?. dark

Which records are you looking forward to seeing broken, set or merely pursued this year? Are there any that are never going to be broken? I’d love to hear your thoughts and I will try to revisit this blog after the upcoming season, to see how well the guys did.