Colorado Avalanche all-time playoff record

Erik Johnson and J.T. Compher holding their Stanley Cup trophy in 2022.
Erik Johnson and J.T. Compher holding their Stanley Cup trophy in 2022. / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The Colorado Avalanche have taken home three Stanley Cups in their NHL career: the first in 1996, the year the Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver and became the Avs as we know them today; the second in 2001, under coach Bob Hartley, and the last, as many readers will remember, in 2022. Every single time the Avs have appeared at the Stanley Cup Championship, they have come out victorious. In preparation for the 2024 playoff season, let’s take a look back at the team’s past playoff record.

Colorado Avalanche All-Time Playoff Record

The Avs have appeared in the postseason 19 times since the team’s move to Denver. If you’re sitting there trying to remember how many NHL seasons there have been since 1996 and what that number means, worry not — the Avs have made the playoffs nearly 68% of the time. 

(Fun NHL history fact: 1996 was also the year that the NHL adopted a more standardized approach to their regular season structure. They decided that each team would play 82 games total, instead of 84, and exactly half of these would occur at home, while the other half would be played away. It was also the Winnipeg Jets’ final season before they moved to Arizona to become the Phoenix Coyotes.)

It's actually been six years since the Avs missed the postseason: that fateful 2017 season was the final year of a three-year no-playoff streak for Colorado.

If that streak hadn't been broken by first round losses in both 2014 and 2010, it would have lasted ten years. 

The Avs’ all-time record in the playoffs is 178-141-0-1. To compare, the post-1996 Dallas Stars have a playoff record of 112-100-0-0.

Looking To This Year…

There are some very high highs and very low lows in the Avs‘ most recent playoff performances.

Of course, Colorado clinched the Stanley Cup in 2022, crushing the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2.  To relive the magic, watch this video of every goal from the Avs 2022 Stanley Cup run.

But last year, the Avs only made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth as a wild card pick. They exited the postseason in the first round, losing the series to the Seattle Kraken 3-4. It had been four years since the Avs hadn’t won at least one round in the postseason.

While stars like Mikko Rantanen performed well, the team was missing some reliable players from the season: forward Gabriel Landeskog was out with an injury, while Valeri Nichuskin was out after Game 3 after a heavily-intoxicated woman found in the forward's Seattle hotel room and transported to the hospital.

The Avs have not clinched their playoff spot this year yet — at the time of this article, they are second only to the Dallas Stars in the Central Division

Dom Luszczyszyn, an NHL reporter at The Athletic, updated his 2023-24 NHL Playoff Predictions on March 29, giving the Avalanche a 57 percent chance of making the Central Division Final and a 27 percent chance of making the Western Conference Final. 

However, he estimates only an 8 percent chance of making the Stanley Cup Final, and a measly 3 percent chance of the Avs winning the whole thing. 

This is a significant drop from Luszczyszyn’s Day One estimation, which gave the Avs an 11 percent chance of bringing home the Stanley Cup.

Since the Av’s most recent cup in 2022, the team has replaced their legendary general manager Joe Sakic with Chris MacFarland. Let’s hope this change of leadership doesn’t kill Jared Bednar’s playoff momentum.