The Colorado Avalanche have kept a close watch over Northwest co-leaders Minnesota and Vancouver. After winning the last two games (both on the back of superb goaltending by Peter "It's About Time" Budaj), the Avs are now just one point behind the Wild and the Canucks for the division lead.
Unfortunately, every team in the division has been winning as of late, and Calgary, with a 5-3 win tonight over St. Louis, is now tied with Colorado. Even Edmonton now has a .500 record! Just four points separate the co-leaders from the Oilers in the standings, and four teams have either 37 or 38 points.
Talk about competitive.
The win last night over the Predators put the Avalanche in the playoffs again, this time in sixth place. While it's waaaay too early to really consider the playoff picture, it's worth noting that six of the eight eligible teams have points totals between 37 and 40. Only Detroit (49!) and St. Louis (34) are the outliers.
Will this continue for the entire length of the season? It could. The West is more competitive than ever before, and teams like Columbus, St. Louis, Chicago and Colorado---teams that all missed the playoffs last season---are definitely more competitive than in previous years.