The Central Division returns this season with the Avs as the debatable runaway division winners already, as the Central has weakened compared to two years ago. There is a new team added to the division this year as well, all seven of which will be looking to challenge the Avalanche this season.
While the Avs have seen some of these teams within the last year due to the restructuring of the conferences last season, the Avs haven’t seen others in over two years. So, let’s take a look last time out for the Avs against the Central Division.
The Avs completed a 4-game sweep of the Blues in the first round of the playoffs last season, winning Game 4 5-2. When they last met in the regular season, however, they lost out 4-1 in April.
The Blues have had an interesting offseason. The conflict they’ve had with Vladimir Tarasenko will be interesting come the start of the season, and they took on one of the Avs’s best scorers last season in Brandon Saad. They’ll still be looking to fight for a playoff spot this year.
The Avs host St. Louis on October 16th and on April 26th. The Avs then go to St. Louis on October 28th.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars
Unfortunately, the last time the Avs faced the Stars was in the bubble in Game 7, an OT loss 5-4 in that dramatic series. In the regular season, they lost in OT yet again 3-2 on January 14th.
The Stars struggled last season fighting through a lot of external obstacles such as COVID and the freezing Texas power outage that shut the city of Dallas down. They will be looking to rebound this season and fight for a wild card spot in the West.
The Avs visit Dallas twice on November 26th and New Years Eve. The Stars visit Denver just before their game on New Years Eve on December 29th.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Winnipeg Jets
The Jets downed the Avs 7-4 at Ball Arena on New Years Eve in 2019. It was a Kyle Connor hat-trick that lead the way, and a four-goal outburst by the Jets to win out to end 2019.
The Jets are arguably the Avs biggest threat in the Central this season. After a disappointing first round exit last year in the playoffs, the Jets will try to take off this season en lieu of a deep playoff run.
The Avs and Jets play four times this season, in Denver on January 6th and February 25th. The Avs visit Winnipeg on April 8th and April 24th.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators
The Avs went into Smashville and beat up on the Predators 3-2 on February 29th, 2020. With the win, it pushed the Avs to their sixth straight win despite a handful of injuries.
Nashville is in a unique spot. Despite making the playoffs last season and giving the Carolina Hurricanes a scare in the first round, they’ll be teetering on the fence for a playoff spot in the Central. Basically, these two have swapped positions in the division over the last five years.
Again, these two play four times this season. The Avs visit Nashville on December 16th and January 11th. Nashville comes to town on November 27th and April 28th for the home regular season finale.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild
The Avs were beaten up in Minnesota 8-3 on April 7th, ending their five-game win streak. There were penalties galore, leading to several power play goals and a gut-wrenching defeat to end the season matchups against these two last season.
Despite losing some big names like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the Wild re-signed their young star in Kirill Kaprizov. He and his squad will be looking to make some noise in the playoffs again after taking the Vegas Golden Knights to seven games last season.
These two rivals play in Denver on October 30th and January 17th. Meanwhile, the Avs visit the Twin Cities on March 27th and April 29th for the regular season finale.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks
The Avs blew a 3-1 lead to give the Blackhawks four unanswered goals in the 3rd period to win 5-3 on December 21st, 2019. A disappointing effort to say the least saw five different scorers in the win for the Hawks.
The Blackhawks made a big splash this offseason in acquiring Marc-Andre Fluery from the Vegas Golden Knights. As Avs fans know from last year, Flower will be a tough task on a new team that will be looking to play spoiler. With his performances, he could very well keep Chicago in the playoff race up until the final day.
The Hawks come to Denver on opening night in just a couple of weeks on October 13th and January 24th. The Avs visit the Windy City on January 4th and January 28th.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Arizona Coyotes
The Avs took care of business last season against the desert dogs, including their final matchup 4-2 on April 12th. Despite jumping out to a 3-0 lead, the Yotes made things interesting with two in the third before a Mikko Rantanen empty net goal killed it off.
The Coyotes are amidst several other concerns off the ice, such as relocating to Tempe next season. They lost some key players like Oliver Ekman-Larrson and Darcy Kuemper to yours truly as well. It’s expected that they will be the basement dwellers of the Central Division, so expect the Avs to take care of business in Arizona this year.
The Avs welcome Arizona to Denver on January 14th and February 1st. The Yotes welcome the Avs to Glendale two final times this season on January 15th and March 3rd.
So, that’s a wrap on this series. While things have significantly changed since the Avs have faced some of these teams, it is still good to look back on the trends the Avs have had against some clubs.
How will the Avs fare against the Central Division this season? Expectations are high for the Avs as the season is right around the corner. Get ready Avs fans, regular season hockey is almost here!