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2023-24 Avalanche Season Preview: Pacific Division

The battle of the West goes through the Pacific.

Vegas Golden Knights v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Heading now to the West Coast in this season preview, the Colorado Avalanche have always and will continue playing tough competition out in the Pacific Division. With the emergence of a new flashy rival along with the newest Stanley Cup champions, it makes it that much harder. But how did they do against these teams last season?

Colorado Avalanche vs. Vegas Golden Knights

The newest Stanley Cup champions last faced off against the then-defending Stanley Cup champions on February 27. The most recent regular-season battle saw the Avs shut out the eventual champs 3-0 at home.

Of course, Vegas took care of business against the Florida Panthers in five games to end the season last year. The good news for them is they kept together a majority of their team who won the Cup and didn't get too hard by the Cup tax. Therefore, they’ll look defend their title against the Avs on November 4 and April 14 on the Strip, and January 10 in Denver.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers

The Avs and Oilers last played a close and wild game in the final week of the regular season. It unfortunately saw Connor McDavid and company end up on top in a 2-1 overtime win.

Edmonton will continue to feel the pressure to win the Stanley Cup as they have the last few years with McDavid and Leon Draisaitl leading the way. But can the rest of the team keep up? They’ll have to wait to test their grit against Colorado until March 16 and April 5 in Edmonton, and the regular-season finale in Denver on April 18.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles continues to be a threat in the West as their rebuild shapes up to be a competing team. They kept it close last time out against the Avalanche, only falling 4-3 on April 8 in LA.

Their competitiveness has gone up a level thanks to the acquisition of Pierre-Luc Dubois and his new long-term deal with the team. But, as it has been the last couple of seasons, will the goaltending keep up? They’ll certainly be tested on Opening Night in a few days in LA on October 11 and December 3, while in Ball Arena on January 26.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Seattle Kraken

Of course, most Avs know (and likely want to forget) what happened the last time they played Seattle. This was their 2-1 Game 7 loss at home to knock them out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Kraken will look to keep up the intensity this season and continue to rise up the ranks in a competitive Pacific Division and Western Conference? Can they finish in the top three this season? Regardless, Colorado will look to get its revenge early in the season October 17 and November 13 on the road, and home on November 9.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames

Old friend Nazem Kadri made his return to Denver on February 25 in an emotional fashion. But, he would be on the losing side of a 4-1 drubbing by the Avalanche in the middle of a six-game winning streak.

The Flames finally moved on from Darryl Sutter and Brad Treliving in the offseason as they look to make up for an abysmal season. Can players like Jonathan Huberdeau bounce back after a bad year? They’ll look to do so in Denver on November 25 and December 11, and back in Calgary on March 12.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Vancouver Canucks

Another straggling team in the Pacific last season were the Canucks. They were on the receiving end of an angry Avalanche team in a 4-1 loss at the Rogers Arena on January 20.

Despite technically finishing above .500 last season, there was so much chaos surrounding Vancouver. From the unpopular firing of Bruce Boudreau rather than addressing the real issue surrounding the team along with losing their captain Bo Horvat at the trade deadline, it was a long season. They look ahead to the Avs as a chance to recover on November 22 and February 20, and back in British Columbia March 13.

Colorado Avalanche vs. San Jose Sharks

Ever since their competitive playoff series back in 2019, it hasn’t been close between the Avs and Sharks. This was demonstrated further in a 6-2 win for Colorado at the SAP Center on April 6, the second straight game against San Jose in a unique part of last year’s schedule.

San Jose looks to once again be a straggler in the division, not showing many signs of competing with the top dogs of the West. It may be another long season, especially in three games against Colorado. These three games are October 14 in California, and December 17 & 31 in Denver.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim looks to be in a similar position to the Sharks but have played spoiler against the Avs before. But it wasn’t the case last time they played Colorado, as they were just beat out 5-4 in OT on April 9.

The Ducks tried to lowball their RFAs, especially Trevor Zegras who was rumored to be valued only $4M. Luckily, they did get to a deal before the start of the season alongside Jamie Drysdale. But with the misunderstanding around John Gibson and whether or not he wants to leave alongside the lack of team depth, it could be another long season. They’ll play the Avs in Denver on November 15 and December 5, and back in Anaheim on December 2.