Ranking of the last 10 seasons of Colorado Avalanche Hockey Part 1: The last 5
After doing a more serious post for my first post for Mile High Hockey, I thought it would be good to do my second post on a less serious topic which I hope will spark a little light debate to keep you all occupied for a while. this offseason. Here are my five worst seasons of the last ten Colorado Avalanche Hockey seasons. A note on the “rules”: the draft and the offseason which directly followed the listed season are taken into account in this classification.
10. The worst of the worst: 2015-16
When a hockey fan ranks the last ten seasons in Avalanche history and the 2016-17 season is one of those ten years, you’d assume that season would come last. However, given the rules that were mentioned earlier, there is a good reason why the ’15 -’16 season comes last.
At the end of the season, the Avalanche had finished with 82 points, just 5 points from a playoff berth in the West. Pretty good, right? Not really. This season marked the end of Patrick Roy’s coaching tenure with the Avalanche and brought nothing to the team. The near-failure of the playoffs came just two years after the team won the Central Division and lost to the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs, so it wasn’t a sign of hope for the to come up. Colorado were given the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and selected Tyson Jost, and no hits on Jost, but he didn’t quite become the player Colorado was hoping for when he did. selected with his first choice. Of the five other selections the Avalanche made in the draft, only one broke the NHL roster, Adam Werner, who got a shutout in his first game, lost his second game 6-2 and is now with the Calgary Flames. As for the offseason, the Avs haven’t made any big additions. The only notable moves from the team were re-signing Nathan MacKinnon to his current contract and ditching Nate Guenin, otherwise it was just deep moves.
I can only remember one bright spot from the entire 2016-17 season, a 4-3 overtime win (after trailing 3-0) over the Chicago Blackhawks of the Western Conference in of the penultimate home game of the season. Even with that little bright spot, there’s no way this season can end outside of the final two. The only reason (s) he did not finish in tenth place were the additions made by the organization.
As we all know, the Avalanche ended the regular season with the worst record in modern NHL history (at the time) and didn’t even manage to score 50 points, so it’s not necessary to dwell on this. Instead, I’m going to dive into what Colorado has been up to this season. Most people remember this season was Jared Bednar’s first season with the team after being hired less than two months before the start of the season. Despite Bednar’s lack of national recognition, most Avalanche fans know he is one of the best coaches in the NHL and has been instrumental in the team’s recent successes. Of course, he’s not perfect, and there are a privileged few among Avs loyalists who believe the team is doing it on their own, but that’s a conversation for another day. The other big addition Colorado made this offseason was the 2017 NHL Draft. By the time of the draft lottery, the team had fallen to fourth overall despite being the worst team in the Salary Cap era, so it was hard to find an Avalanche fan who wasn’t not upset by the fall. The choice, however, ended up being Cale Makar. Cale has since led a mediocre UMass team to the NCAA National Championship, won the Calder Trophy, finished second in the Norris Trophy vote in just his second year in the league and is poised to be the top defenseman in the league. the NHL, but there will be more of him in the Top 5.
It was a strange season in the history of the Avalanches. The team finished above 0.500 with a 41-36-5 record, but finished seven points behind the eventual LA Kings Cup champion and missed the playoffs.
There is very little to say about this season. The Avs performed well, but not enough to qualify for the playoffs, and there weren’t any significant additions to the squad, although I will always have a special place in my heart for David Jones. Gabriel Landeskog’s winning season at Calder was the only notable positive for the Avalanche that season. Landeskog has shown he is going to live up to the hype he received after being picked, ending the season with 22 goals and 30 assists, and was the only player on the squad to make all 82 games this season.
Yet another nothing of a season for the Avs, which you can tell was pretty common for the team in the mid-2010s. The team finished the season above .500 with the. assists 12 overtime losses, but still finished last in Central and missed the playoffs.
What made this season particularly disappointing was the fact that Colorado had just had what many thought was their return to glory the previous season. My only reason this season was so high was again because of a player they picked in the draft. This time it was Mikko Rantanen. Superstar Finn was selected 10th overall by the Avalanche, and has impressed since arriving in North America. Rantanen won the AHL Rookie of the Year award the following season after amassing 60 points in 52 games with the San Antonio Rampage. in the NHL. Mikko is the only saving grace this season.
6. Best of Worst: 2012-13 season
The 2012-13 season is the last on this list where the Avs missed the playoffs. Despite that setback and the last place in the Western Conference, it has been a pretty solid season for the Avalanche, which is why it is ranked highest among the missed seasons of the playoffs. The team finished 16-25-7 in the shortened lockout season, giving them the second-worst record in the league. However, that would allow them to win the first overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, a draft that was teeming with talent such as Seth Jones, Jonathan Huberdeau and current Avs star Nathan MacKinnon.
Almost every Avs fan at that point remembers when the Avs broke the Chicago Blackhawks record by setting a 24-game winning streak with a 6-2 win over eventual champions of the Chopped off. Other than that, it’s hard to report a single game or a single moment that has been positive during the season. As well as being the underdog in one of the biggest upheavals in recent history, the other factor that put this season so high was the aforementioned acquisition of Nathan MacKinnon. There’s not much to say about Nathan MacKinnon that Avalanche fans don’t already know. He is an NHL superstar, many consider him the second best player in the league and he has been nominated three times for the Hart Trophy. It’s pretty obvious why he single-handedly carries the 2012-13 season above all the other losing seasons the Avalanche have seen in the past decade.