The Colorado Avalanche were one of four teams in the western conference to finish with a winning record and fall short of reaching the playoffs. They finished as the 11th seed in the conference and have some work to do to get into playoff contention this upcoming season. The Colorado Avalanche schedule opens up nicely with three straight home games. The first game against the Minnesota Wild will be a challenge, but the next two are winnable contests. The Avalanche were solid at home last year and their real challenge will be improving their .500 road record. The first road test the Avalanche face is a relatively easy one. It is a three game road trip early in the year that will ease them into the season with only difficult game against the Lightning.
Graphic via milehighsticking
The real challenge in the Colorado Avalanche schedule will come in the second month of the season as they have the unfortunate task of embarking on a seven game road trip. The length of this trip is brutal and not many teams have to endure such a long road trip, especially this early. While the length is rough, the road trip itself could be worse. Four of the seven teams were playoff teams a year ago Montreal is the only one that finished within the top three of their respective conference. That being said, this will still be a good challenge for the Avalanche early on and could set them back before the second half of the season. The positive for Colorado is that their schedule provides four home stands of four games or more in the second half of the season and they do not have another road trip nearly as long as the one in November. It is not to say that Colorado has an easy second half of the schedule but comparatively speaking, it is better than the beginning. Overall, the Avalanche’s schedule will challenge them plenty. They are one of the teams in the western conference that will hang around the last playoff spot for a majority of the season. They have a chance to get in but will have to fight off a few other teams that figure to improve in the upcoming season as well. If Colorado can hang in early on they will have a chance to make a push in the middle of the season. The problem is, the Colorado schedule finishes how it begins. The Avalanche have an extremely tough draw in their last seven games. They face Nashville and St. Louis twice, Washington, Anaheim, and Dallas who could be fighting for a playoff spot as well. Unfortunately Colorado could have a very brutal ending to the season.
Graphic via rantsports