The Colorado Avalanche excel in categories that cannot be measured
The hockey pundits, both players and fans alike, all say that Lord Stanley’s chalice is the most difficult trophy to win in all of sport. To win the trophy, a team has to win 16 games in an extremely condensed time frame, all the while battling injuries, fatigue, travel, and anything else that gets in their way.
In the last 4 years, three teams have won the Stanley Cup, with the Avalanche being one of them. It’s likely still fresh in Avs fans’ minds. That means they were able to battle through all these factors and still hoist the Cup. The Golden Knights, who finished 8th on this ranking list, won the Cup last year. Tampa Bay, who won the previous two cups before the Avs knocked them off in 2022, did not make the list.
A team must learn how to win in the playoffs. The Devils are getting there. The other teams on this list cannot say the same.
It can’t be taken away that the core of the Avalanche have the experience and have lifted the Cup- they know what it takes. The core is still relatively young. The core of the team (MacKinnon, Makar, Rantanen, Toews, Byrum, Nichushkin, Colton) are all under 28. They’ve got plenty left in the tank and won’t be going away anytime soon. Although they’ll have to dance through some cap issues potentially, they’ve got the potential and ability to make several more runs. If Makar wasn’t out last season in the playoffs who knows how that would have gone.
Think back to the Blackhawks of the 2010s led by Kane and Toews. They won three cups in 6 seasons. They had many similar pieces in similar places to what the Colorado Avalanche have. The Avalanche have one won Cup already, and when healthy, must be one of the favorites to hoist it again, not only this year, but over the next handful of seasons as well.