It’s only fair we write this, given one of our first posts of the regular season was titled, “Can we talk about how bad the Avs were last night?”
That one was written after Colorado was absolutely dominated by the Wild in their season-opener on Oct. 9, losing 5-0 while getting outshot 48-16.
Things didn’t get a whole lot better for the Avs in the following months, as last year’s surprise team fell back to earth, just as many predicted they would. In their first 55 games, based on score-adjusted Fenwick, they were the NHL’s second-worst possession team at even strength. Only Buffalo was worse.
Their last five games though? It’s been a pretty different story, as the Avs have gone 4-1-0 — with wins over Stanley Cup contenders Chicago and Tampa Bay — and been one of the NHL’s top possession teams, again based on score-adjusted Fenwick.
Look, the Avs still have their issues. They were actually outshot, 32-18, by the Lightning, leading Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper to lament, “If you told me we were going to score four and give up 18 shots in the game, not a chance in the world I thought we’d lose this game.”
The Avs have also, in all likelihood, left things way too late. They’ll need a red-hot run to make the playoffs now.
But at the very least, this recent stretch should provide some hope for next season.
“It’s been an up-and-down season, lot of downs in terms of the team and winning,” forward Nathan MacKinnon said, per the Denver Post.
“But lately we’ve been playing some solid hockey.”