A year removed from a dreadful season where they won just 16 out of their 48 games in a shortened season, the Colorado Avalanche are in prime position to possibly raise a Central Division banner at the Pepsi Center. The move to bring in rookie head coach Patrick Roy has paid dividends and the team is feeding off of his passion for the game. He along with executive Joe Sakic, made an impact right from the get-go by drafting center Nathan MacKinnon over the hometown kid, Seth Jones. As of right now, they look like they have made the right choice.
Nathan MacKinnon has been a key contributor to the playoff-bound Avalanche, leading all NHL rookies in points (62), goals (24), and assists (38). He as of right now is the for sure lock for the Calder Trophy which is given to the top performing rookie. His blazing speed and remarkable stick skills has defenseman looking silly night-to-night. He along with four other Avalanche players have 60+ plus points, Matt Duchene (70), Gabriel Landeskog (65), Ryan O’Reilly (63), and MacKinnon (62). Paul Stastny is closing in the list as the centerman sits at 58.
You also can’t say enough about the job that François Allaire has done with starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov. He is having a remarkable season, leading the NHL in wins (40) and saves (1,829). Varly is currently in the discussion for the Vezina Trophy; which is handed to the goaltender who is the best at his position. There are a lot of candidates for that award but Varlamov has had a remarkable season regardless, sitting with a record of 40-14-6, 2.41 GAA, .927% save percentage.
Looking ahead now to the last three games remaining for the Avalanche. They sit at 51-21-7, with 109 points on the season.
4/10: Colorado @ Vancouver Canucks (35-33-11, 81 points)
4/11: Colorado @ San Jose Sharks (49-21-9, 107 points)
4/13: Colorado @ Anaheim Ducks (51-20-8, 110 points)
The St. Louis Blues on the other hand sit with a record of (52-20-7, 111 points) with three games remaining as well. Here is their final three match-ups:
4/10: St. Louis @ Minnesota Wild (42-26-12, 96 points)
4/11: St. Louis @ Dallas Stars (39-30-11, 89 points)
4/13: St. Louis vs. Detroit Red Wings (38-27-15, 91 points)
Colorado sits just two points behind St. Louis with three games remaining so this should be an entertaining end to the season to see who captured the Central Division crown. Lets just hope its the boys in burgundy and blue.