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Power Rankings
The Avalanche season ended in disappointment once again as they could not take advantage of a faltering Minnesota Wild down the stretch. Some ill-timed injuries hurt, but the Avalanche have some significant issues that need to be corrected by Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy if this team is to progress.
Colorado's playoff chances are slim, but they're not dead yet. Meanwhile, Patrick Roy was throwing core players under the bus after the team's most recent loss. It's not been a fun finish to the season in the Mile High City.
Losing Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene to injury just ahead of the grueling home-stretch schedule was ill-timed to say the least. The Avs lost a key game to Minnesota and are seeing their playoff hopes dwindle.
The Avs have had to deal with some injuries to their two best players -- Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon -- but have managed to take advantage of a soft spot in their schedule. They've won three straight and six of their past eight to keep Minnesota at bay in the wild-card race.
The two-team race for the wild-card spot is going to really challenge the Avs. A meeting between them and the Wild in the last week of March could prove particularly crucial as neither team has done much to separate itself.
The Avs are still on the outskirts of the playoff picture, but are even on points with the Wild. Like has been the case all season long, though, this team doesn't seem to play a style that fosters consistency. That could hurt them down the stretch.
Colorado was very active on deadline day, adding Mikkel Boedker from the Coyotes to bolster their scoring attack and bringing in Eric Gelinas from the Devils as a reclamation project on defense. The Avs have to find some consistency in their game to stay in the playoff hunt.
The Avs have the big Stadium Series game against the Red Wings coming up, which should be fun, but there's some serious work to be done, too. The Avs recently added Shawn Matthias to bolster their depth, but can Joe Sakic find anything else out there? This team still feels a few pieces short of being competitive in the playoffs.
The Avs can take advantage of a soft spot in their schedule with Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver all on the upcoming docket. They've had a rough stretch with just two wins over their last seven games, but still have a grip on the last wild-card spot in the West.
Three straight losses to divisional opponents definitely stings considering how well the Avs had been playing. They have a three-point cushion in the wild-card spot, but it's going to be hard for them to feel terribly comfortable with that.
Preseason Power Rankings
In recent years, it's been hard to put a finger on the Avs. Their first two games couldn't have been more different. They could be in for another roller coaster season.
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