The Colorado Avalanche launched right into "win" mode upon their return from their bye week, streaking for a playoff position and earning some recognition in the process. There’s not a lot of bad in this week’s breakdown of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, as befits a winning team. It’s a weird feeling for recent Avalanche fans but hockey can bring joy. Who knew?
1. The Avalanche raced right back into the thick of playoff contention after their brief respite, much to everyone’s relief. In their two wins this past week, they extended their win streak to seven games, something they haven’t achieved in over a decade. Colorado sits just two points out of a wild card spot with at least two games in hand on all but one team ahead of them for a playoff spot. The team owns a remarkable 18-1-1 record when taking a lead into the third period, which is a far cry from the group which seemed to find ways to lose in the waning moments of games last year. Remember folks, the Avalanche are streaking, not the fans. No one needs to see any of the fans without their clothes on. It’s not that kind of a streak.
2. In the past week, the Avalanche not only surpassed last season’s point totals, but they also exceeded their total wins. Oh yeah, Colorado has never trailed in any of those six games and have outscored their opponents by 19 points over the streak. They now rank 6th in scoring and fifth in average goals scored per game (3.28). Yes, the same team that occupied the cellar last year now sits near the top of the NHL. Smelling salts, anyone?
3. Congratulations to Alternate Captain Nathan MacKinnon who was named to the All-Star game! MacKinnon continues to elevate his play as he scored the two game-winning goals in the past week, maintained his spot in a second-place tie for NHL scoring leaders (54 points) and extended his point streak to seven games. Does anyone want to admit to questioning MacKinnon’s ability to find beast mode now? Yeah, didn’t think so.