3 reasons the Colorado Avalanche will upset the Jets in Round 1 of the NHL Playoffs

The Colorado Avalanche may have finished the 2023-24 season on a downward spiral, but that doesn’t mean they will fall to the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL Playoffs.
Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche
Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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The Avalanche have a major special teams advantage

The Jets are the NHL’s best defensive team…as long as their penalty kill isn’t on the ice. Winnipeg may have outstanding goaltending that allowed just 2.42 goals per contest, but their penalty kill was successful just 77.27 percent of the time, making them one of the bottom 12 in hockey. 

Colorado’s power play converted at 24.45 percent this season, well above the NHL average of 20.91. As an upper echelon 5-on-4 unit, the Avalanche don’t just have the advantage here, but if they drew multiple penalties in each game, they’re scoring often on Connor Hellebuyck and company. Overall, their man advantage finished fifth in the NHL, and it wasn’t just the power play unit that clicked - the Avs penalty kill also looked good time and again this season. 

Their PK unit finished a healthy 12th in the NHL with an 80.15 success rate. As for Winnipeg’s power play, it scored 19.07 percent of the time, good for just 22nd in the NHL. This isn’t saying Winnipeg won’t score when they’re on the man advantage, but statistically speaking, there is no question over who’s winning the special teams battle, and that could be a major help for Colorado.