There are just two weeks left in October — and as teams around the NHL creep ever closer to hitting the 10-game mark, the Colorado Avalanche are still sitting fairly pretty.
The mile-high team are currently first in the NHL with a 7-0-1 record, boasting distinction as the only remaining team not to have lost yet in regulation. They’ve fallen just sort of two points once, and they’ve had to head to extra minutes to pull off the win two other times — but they haven’t needed the shootout for a decision yet, and their 15 points in just 8 games puts them ahead of everyone from the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres (who have 15 points but one regulation loss apiece) to the Stamkos-led Tampa Bay Lightning, Bergeron-line boasting Boston Bruins, and even the score-happy Washington Capitals (who are the only team with more goals so far than Colorado themselves).
It’s a pretty historic run for the team to open the season. No, literally:
Colorado extended their season-opening point streak to 7-0-1 and sit three games shy of matching their longest such run in @Avalanche / Nordiques franchise history (9-0-2 in 2000-01). #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/rLQx00d10a— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 20, 2019
Congrats are in order for Tyson Jost, who has scored his first-ever career NHL hat trick as of this weekend:
The west just doesn’t seem to be all that easy to start this season off, though — which is both a sign of just how good the Avalanche have been (they’ve already run through the Arizona Coyotes and Calgary Flames in the Pacific, along with the hapless Minnesota Wild in the Central) and how tough this season might be. Here’s what you might have missed about some of the other contenders out west:
In Calgary, the wheels have really fallen off in a few games. But after a disastrous first game with his new team, Cam Talbot had himself a powerful night on Sunday to hold off the Anaheim Ducks (and phenom goaltender John Gibson). [The Calgary Sun]
Speaking of the Anaheim Ducks:
Won’t be an easy team to beat if Dallas Eakins continues to trend this team upward.
In Arizona, the Coyotes are one of the three teams that have forced the Avalanche into extra innings this year — and like Pittsburgh (the only team to have defeated Colorado so far), they’re the only team to hold Colorado to just two goals against in regulation. The Avalanche have been gifted with a stellar, deep offensive corps this season, but the Coyotes have now scored four or more goals in four games of their own — and have the goaltending to match, too:
Arizona Coyotes goaltending stats through 7:— Catherine Silverman (@catmsilverman) October 20, 2019
Darcy Kuemper: 3-2-0, .949 sv%
Antti Raanta: 1-0-1, .926 sv%
Neither has allowed more than 2 goals in regulation yet. Raanta was in net for their only game with 3 GA, and that final goal came in OT.
Colorado almost certainly has more offensive maturity this year, but Arizona’s defense and goaltending mean they’re a sneaky threat if they sneak into the postseason this time around.
Speaking of goaltending, one goalie out east had himself a night on Sunday:
Keith Kinkaid are you kidding me?? pic.twitter.com/WKpv41IGZ0— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 20, 2019
If you’re a goalie and you don’t like the windmill, what are you even doing?
For our prospect junkies: you’ll get your full Avalanche fix at 9am EST. But for now, here’s some weekend pipeline chat for the league:
THE PIPELINE SHOW: Talking WHL Hockey with @JoshHortonEDH, Big Ten @NCAAIceHockey Preview, & a Draft Spotlight— Eliteprospects (@eliteprospects) October 20, 2019
By @TPS_Guy, unlocked, and it's available, as always, on @EPRinkside.
Check this pod out !https://t.co/UthZLzUTQG pic.twitter.com/mw5crPaK8H
Finally, in some heartwarming news: