Skip to content

Avalanche finished 2013-14 with plenty to be happy about

Aug 7, 2014, 10:57 PM EDT

Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy watches play from the bench in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) AP

Colorado’s playoff run was short-lived thanks to the Minnesota Wild, but it’s hard to look at the Avalanche’s 2013-14 campaign as anything but a success.

In the lockout shortened season, the Avalanche finished with their worst record from a points percentage perspective since they moved to Colorado and they followed it up with the second best regular season in their franchise’s history. They gave fans a reason to be excited again, with past heroes Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy shaping and coaching the team respectively, and youngsters Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Matt Duchene leading the charge on the ice.

From the beginning of the season, Roy pushed the underdog Avalanche to ask themselves the question, “Why not us?” With that mentality, they took an early season hot streak and developed it into a 52-22-8 record.

The new sense of hope was contagious as that combined with the on-ice results led to a spike in fans attendance from 15,445 per game in 2013 to 16,296 in 2013-14, according to the hockey database.

The team had been dealing with attendance problems for years. Part of the issue, as Denver Post report Adrian Dater argued years ago, was that the team lacked identity and direction.

That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, but then, we’ve only been through one season of the new Sakic/Roy-era. There’s an argument to be made that the Avalanche might have been playing above their heads and were leaning too heavily on Semyon Varlamov, who they need to hope has another spectacular season after breaking out in 2013-14.

The silver lining is that while a regression is certainly possible, given the overall youth of the team, it wouldn’t be devastating. Perhaps they won’t do as well in 2014-15 compared to last season, but they have a core in place that could be fun to watch for years to come.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Granlund extension in the works

    Oct 24, 2014, 9:06 AM EDT

    Mikael Granlund #64 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on February 1, 2013 in Anaheim, California.
(January 31, 2013 - Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    The Wild center becomes a restricted free agent after this season.

  2. PHT Morning Skate: Caps’ Alex Ovechkin has a mishap while curling

    Oct 24, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 7.23.57 AM

    With time off in Calgary, players participate in team building event.

  3. ‘Resilient’ Blue Jackets leave Sharks worried about defense

    Oct 24, 2014, 2:04 AM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    Scott Hartnell’s four assists included a wondrous “kick-pass.”

  4. Red-hot Quick sets new Kings’ franchise shutout record

    Oct 24, 2014, 1:35 AM EDT

    St Louis Blues v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    His 33rd goose egg breaks a brief tie with Rogie Vachon.

  5. Wild’s Kuemper generates third shutout in fourth start of 2014-15

    Oct 24, 2014, 1:14 AM EDT

    Darcy Kuemper AP

    This one didn’t come against Colorado, either.

  6. Pondering Boston’s defense without Chara

    Oct 24, 2014, 12:49 AM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Chris Kelly calls him “irreplaceable.”

  7. Reports: Chara could miss at least 4-6 weeks with knee injury

    Oct 23, 2014, 11:33 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    The Bruins haven’t confirmed or denied the dire update.

  8. Ryan Miller shines in Canucks’ win against Blues

    Oct 23, 2014, 11:29 PM EDT

    Ryan Miller AP

    Is “revenge” too strong of a word for it?

  9. Video: Red Wings’ stars stun Penguins with late surge

    Oct 23, 2014, 10:22 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

    Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall made it happen.

  10. Ted Nolan readies to coach against his son Jordan for first time

    Oct 23, 2014, 7:18 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    He’s hoping no one drops the gloves with Jordan tonight.

  11. Jets coach says Evander Kane will resume skating this week

    Oct 23, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT

    Evander Kane AP

    Winnipeg’s offense could use the power forward.

  12. Roy confirms Varlamov will start Friday

    Oct 23, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 03: Goalie Semyon Varlamov #1 of the Colorado Avalanche makes a glove save against the New York Rangers at Pepsi Center on April 3, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Rangers 3-2 in an overtime shootout. Getty Images

    Colorado could really use a win.

Featured video

Caps' 'culture change' proving positive

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Spezza (3156)
  2. E. Kane (2768)
  3. P. Datsyuk (2673)
  4. P. Stastny (2609)
  5. J. Drouin (2508)
  1. M. Gaborik (2464)
  2. V. Hedman (2373)
  3. E. Staal (2297)
  4. S. Varlamov (2227)
  5. J. Franzen (2115)