The Avalanche entered the NHL’s “pause” for the coronavirus pandemic a close second in the Western Conference standings and in position to reach 100 points for just the second time in 15 years. With 12 remaining games, the Avs (42-20-8) amassed 92 points — two more than they produced the entire season a year ago.
With what could have ended with a Stanley Cup run, and what still might, the following are the biggest moments of what has been a highly entertaining season so far:
Oct. 3: 5-3 win vs. Calgary
Before a sellout crowd of 18,016, the Avalanche opened its season by defeating the Flames for the fifth time in the last six meetings dating to the 2019 playoffs. Mikko Rantanen, who missed all of training camp and preseason without a contract, and newcomer Joonas Donskoi each scored two goals.
Oct. 14: 6-3 win at Washington
The explosive Avs scored four goals within the first 10 minutes of the game and went on to defeat the 2018 Stanley Cup champions to begin a five-game road trip. Rantanen and Nazem Kadri each had three points, with a goal and two assists, and four others also scored, including defensemen Erik Johnson and Nikita Zadorov. Colorado went on to finish the road trip 3-1-1.
Oct. 21: 3-1 loss at St. Louis
It was the night Rantanen went down (the first time), and the Avs played poorly and absorbed their first loss. Following a 7-0-1 start, Colorado completed a five-game road trip with a thud. Rantanen awkwardly caught an edge while skating untouched early in the second period — a frame in which the Avs produced just one shot. Rantanen went on to miss 16 games during a time Colorado also played without Gabe Landeskog and others.
Nov. 5: 4-1 loss at Dallas