AVALANCHE

Avs surge up Power Rankings, remind rest of the NHL they’re still champs

Mar 23, 2023, 12:25 PM

The oddsmakers have liked the Avalanche’s chance to win another Stanley Cup this season from the jump.

The rest of the NHL, including the national writers, not so much. After battling injuries all year, Colorado’s constantly hovered in the teens of many prominent Power Rankings. Just last week, they checked in at No. 11 on ESPN’s. Come on, you can’t say with a straight face the Avs are the 11th best team in the NHL.

Any squad that features Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, Mikko Rantanen and a slew of other talented players should never be that low.

On Friday, the league released their latest rankings, and the Avalanche surged up the list. Despite a loss on Wednesday night to the Penguins, where it looks like the team’s injuries finally caught up to them, they were seeded in a more accurate spot.

The Avs were also No. 11 last week on the NHL’s list, but are now a much more accurate No. 5. The only team in the West ahead of them is Vegas, which is fair considering the Golden Knights have the most points in the conference.

Here’s part of what NHL.com wrote about Colorado…

Getting caught up in the moment, it’s all too easy to give up on a great team that trips over its own feet in November and December. The Avalanche are reminding us just how shortsighted that can be. Despite being plagued with injuries all season, the defending Stanley Cup champions have been crushing it since Jan. 13, going 21-6-3 in 30 games with three separate winning streaks of at least six games.

That seems like a very fair assessment on where the Avalanche are at. They’re red hot basically since the calendar flipped to 2023, and the winning streaks are impressive. There’s no reason to think they can’t take the West, or perhaps even another championship.

For now, the focus will be on claiming the Central Division, as Colorado is just two points back of Minnesota and Dallas with a game in hand on each. They’re back in action on Friday night at home against Arizona.

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