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‘One Way, Our Way’: How will the Avalanche embody that mantra?

It’s Mile High Hockey Lab time, and we just released our 23rd installment!

Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche have three games remaining in the regular season, including tonight's contest against the Edmonton Oilers, and yet the Central Division and Western Conference are still undecided. Though it is unclear who the Avalanche will draw in the first round of the playoffs or beyond, their path to a repeat becomes more apparent as the days pass. With solid performances and career-best seasons from Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Alexandar Georgiev, the Avalanche aren't just riding experience into the postseason.

This Avalanche team has already personified last year's mantra and has found a way to win without key players for extended periods. Now it's one way, our way, and that seems fitting for a team that has overcome 400+ man-games lost and yet has a puncher's chance at emerging as the best threat in the West.

This week's episode was hosted by Adrian Hernandez (@AdoHernandez27), with Jackie Kay (@tigervixxxen) and Evan Liu (@LLou1e) rounding out our panel of Mile High Hockey contributors. The conversation began discussing Jared Bednar's comments regarding comparing this year's squad to last year's. He said this year's team would "have to do it a different way," which I genuinely think was the inspiration behind the new mantra. That means ending the season differently than last, not having the luxury of sitting players. It's all hands on deck with not enough healthy players to afford rest to others, perhaps in the makeup game against the Predators.

The topic then shifted to the possibility of Colorado winning the Western Conference despite an up-and-down and short-staffed season. It seems like Jared Bednar will never win the Jack Adams trophy. Given Boston's regular season record, it's understandable this year, but Colorado's success shows how sturdy Bednar's vision and foundation hold.

Over the last few postseason appearances, we've seen some unexpected standouts. Andre Burakovsky scored some timely goals, as did Artturi Lehkonen. JT Compher has flourished in the playoffs each year he's appeared. With his elevated role and production this regular season, it's reasonable to expect even more from him this time. Who might step into his old position on the third line? We hope it's Alex Newhook, and Evan is curious to see how Evan Rodrigues will fair.

The talk also addressed some of the NHL's significant media members discrediting Alexandar Georgiev despite his regular-season success. Sure, he hasn't played in the postseason essentially at all, but to cite his experience in NY as proof of his faltering amidst high expectations is just misguided. Jackie mentioned that the Rangers had Igor Shesterkin slated for the starting role as soon as they acquired him and that it wasn't much of a competition out there. Adrian argued that the stakes couldn't be higher than when the defending champs trade for you to be their starter when you've never filled that role. He's come to play and then some.

We ended the show how we usually do with some bold predictions! Head over to YouTube or your preferred listening platform to hear how we called our shot. Don't forget to listen to this week's episode for even more Avalanche talk! Like, subscribe, and share! All episodes are broadcast live on our YouTube channel, so head over there and subscribe.