Against the NHL’s best teams this season, the Avalanche has come up aces.
Before the season began last month, the teams most capable of winning the Stanley Cup were the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference, and the Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights in the West. Throw in the defending conference regular-season champions (Tampa Bay and the Calgary Flames), plus the last two Cup champions, the Washington Capitals (2018) and St. Louis Blues (2019), and the benchmark is set.
Well, the Avs are 6-1 against that benchmark, outscoring those teams a combined 37-18.
— Oct. 3 at home, the Avs lead throughout and defeated Calgary 5-3 on opening night. The Flames are currently in the playoff picture after a 4-4-1 start.
— Oct. 10 at home, the Avs beat the Boston Bruins 4-2. Boston entered this weekend 11-2-2 with 24 points, second in the Eastern Conference.
— Oct. 14 at Washington, the Avs scored four goals in the first 10 minutes and went on to pound the Capitals 6-3. Washington entered the weekend with an Eastern Conference-high 27 points.
— Oct. 19 at Tampa Bay, the Avs dominated from start to finish and defeated the Lightning 6-2. The defending President’s Trophy winners tied an NHL record with 62 wins last season and are the near-unanimous pick to win the Stanley Cup next spring.
— Oct. 25 at Vegas, the Avs, in their first game without Mikko Rantanen, dominated the entire way and defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 6-1 on Nevada Day.