Part three of our four part series looks into the first half of the Western Conference - specifically the Pacific Division. The Avs saw a couple of these teams last year thanks to the restructuring of the conferences. However, the Avs haven’t visited Western Canada in over 18 months. So, let’s look at the last time out for the Avs against the Pacific Division.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Vegas Golden Knights
We unfortunately have to revisit the last time the Avs played the Knights - their 6-3 Game 6 loss that eliminated them from the playoffs last season. The last time they faced off in the regular season, however, the Avs won 2-1 in Vegas en route to the Presidents Trophy.
Of course, as we know, Vegas is going to be a force to reckoned with not only from the past few seasons, but this season and future seasons to come. Hopefully, these two will not meet in the second round but rather in the Western Conference Final this season. Time will tell, especially as Vegas has gone through some significant shifts in their roster this year.
The Avs only see Vegas three times in the regular season. They host Vegas on October 26th, and go to Vegas twice afterwards on December 27th and February 26th.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers
The Avs welcomed Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to a mile-high beatdown 4-1 on November 27th, 2019. The Oilers had come in hot, and the Avs put 50 shots on Mikko Koskinen that night. Three of those shots went in within 2:30 minutes in the third period, including Logan O’Connor’s first career NHL goal.
The Oilers will be looking for revenge this season after getting swept away in the first round of the playoffs last season. McDavid and Draisaitl will continue to lead the line this season, looking for a successful rebound season.
The Avs also play Edmonton three times, hosting them on March 21st. They then travel to Alberta on April 9th and April 22nd for two critical games later on in the season.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames
The Avs comeback fell short to the Flames 5-4 in OT on December 9th, 2019. It ended the Avs’s six-game win streak at the time despite a valiant effort.
While tied 2-2 heading into the third, the Flames jumped out to a 4-2 lead with two goals in the first two minutes in the third, gave up their advantage, but earned the extra point. It will be interesting to see how the Flames react this season after missing out on the playoffs last year, so expect them come out tooth and nail against the Avs, who knocked them out of the first round in 2019.
The Avs again play the Flames three times late in the season, with two home games on March 5th and March 13th. They visit Calgary on March 29th to round out their matchups for the season.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Vancouver Canucks
The Avs lost big to the Canucks 6-3 in British Columbia on March 6th, 2020. After clawing back to a 3-3 tie in the second, the Canucks switched to another gear and didn’t look back.
The Avs were supposed to face the Canucks on March 13th, 2020 but it never happened (I had tickets to the game with my then-freshman roommate who is a Canucks fan but it didn’t work out sadly). Regardless, the Avs will be looking for revenge, as the Canucks have had the Avs’s number as of late.
The Avs host the Canucks on November 11th and March 23rd, and visit the BC Place on November 17th.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Anaheim Ducks
The Avs faced the Ducks eight times last season in the restructured Western Conference, and came out on top the final time of asking 4-1 in Anaheim. Gabe Landeskog had himself a stellar performance, contributing the game-winning goal and two assists.
The ending got ugly, as Liam O’Brien and Sam Carrick each got 10 minute misconducts with two minutes left. The Ducks are still in a rebuilding phase, so expect the Avs to take care of business more often than not against the smaller SoCal team.
The Ducks come to Colorado on November 24th and January 2nd, and host the Presidents Trophy winners on January 19th.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Los Angeles Kings
The Kings are in a very similar position as their rivals down the I-5. Plus, they were smoked in the regular season finale last year against the Avs 5-1 on May 13th, 2021 thanks to five second period goals by four different goal scorers.
The Kings rookies got the best of the Avs rookies not too long ago in the Rookie Tournament, however, in a 4-0 win. It is proof that their future is strong, it will just take a little longer for it to get to a competitive level, so the Avs will look to get the best of the Kings again this season.
The Kings host the Avs in Staples Center on January 20th and March 15th. They then travel to the Mile High City on April 13th.
Colorado Avalanche vs. San Jose Sharks
The Avs were beaten 3-2 in San Jose on May 5th, 2021. It was a hinderance to the Avs in their chase towards the first seed in the playoffs at the time, and saw both Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl get three points each after being up 2-0.
The penalty trouble for the Avs killed them in this game. Four penalties, including a MacKinnon unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and Landeskog hooking penalty lead to the game-winning goal for the Sharks. The Sharks have always gotten under the skin of Avs fans, so the Avs will be looking to take care of business this season.
Ball Arena will host two matchups between these two, on November 13th and March 31st. In-between that, the Avs visit San Jose on March 18th.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Seattle Kraken
Of course, these two have not met yet, as the Kraken will look to break onto the scene in a big way in their inaugural season. While certainly not to the same level as the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season, the Kraken are just looking to get started and get their feet wet.
The Kraken did weaken the Avalanche, however. They took Joonas Donskoi in the expansion draft, and took on Phillip Grubauer’s request of a 6x6 contract that the Avs were not willing to bite on. While it will hurt to see two fan favorites in opposing team’s colors, they will look to fight the Avalanche with some of their old weapons this season, and start their head-to-head matchup history on the right foot.
The Avs visit Seattle on November 19th and April 20th. Between then, it will be a homecoming tour for Grubauer and Donskoi in Denver on January 10th.
So, how will the Avs fare against the other division in the West? It will be unique to see, as there have been some changes in the past two years for some teams that the Avs haven’t seen, and even within the last six months that the Avs have seen. Let us know!
Keep an eye out for the last piece of this series, reviewing the last matchups for the Colorado Avalanche against the Central Division, coming soon!