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2023-24 Avalanche Season Preview: Metropolitan Division

New faces bring new hope and desire to the team.

New York Rangers v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Jack Dempsey/Getty Images

With the start of the season just around the corner, it’s time to start doing some previews. The Avs have plenty of competition as always, especially more so than ever after their first-round exit last season.

We start out East, with teams we’ll only see twice in 82 games and going over last season’s results plus this season’s schedule. First up in the East: the Metropolitan Division.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Carolina Hurricanes

The Avs and Canes continue to be consistently towards the top of their respective divisions. Carolina likely had their best chance toward a Stanley Cup last season before Andrei Svechnikov tore his ACL and missed the playoffs.

The last time these two played was in Raleigh and it took extra time. The Avs end up on top 3-2 in overtime taking the season series last season against these two forces of nature. Once again, they’ll play twice on October 21 for Colorado’s second home game of the year and in Raleigh on February 8.

Colorado Avalanche vs. New Jersey Devils

The surprisingly surging Devils stormed through last season, heading into the playoffs and competing before being knocked out by the previously mentioned Canes in the second round.

They did storm through the Avs in both games last season, including a barnburner of a game at Ball Arena on March 1. They got ahead of Colorado and never looked back in a 7-5 win. They’ll look to do the same on November 7 in Denver and February 6 in New Jersey.

Colorado Avalanche vs. New York Rangers

Colorado and the Rangers are two dominant teams in their conferences as well. New York was on track to win the Metro before falling at the end of last season to the Devils and Canes and then ending up out in the first round as well.

These two played a memorable game at Madison Square Garden last season where Alexandar Georgiev won in a shootout against his old team. But, the last time they played was a Rangers shootout win at Ball Arena on December 9. Both teams will look to get it done in regulation this time round February 5 in the Big Apple and March 28 in Denver.

Colorado Avalanche vs. New York Islanders

The Avs and Isles always seem to play some good games against one another. This includes close ones, as the last time they played was a 1-0 shootout win at Ball Arena in December. The only goal of the night game from the now former-Av Evan Rodrigues in the shootout.

The Isles are in an interesting position as they look to compete with basically the same team they’ve had the last three seasons. They were eliminated in the first round just like the Avs, and these two will look to get the best of one another. It starts October 24 on Long Island and January 2 in Denver.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Nathan MacKinnon versus Sidney Crosby. Need I say more? These two Cole Harbour natives will continue to face off against one another this upcoming season. Crosby, the grizzled veteran has found the most success out of the two, including the last result which was a 5-2 win in Denver on March 22.

However, this Avs team is very different than when they last played the Pens. The same goes for the Penguins. whose big addition is on the blue line with Erik Karlsson. He’ll look to go up against Cale Makar and company on October 26 in the Steel City and back in Colorado on March 24.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Washington Capitals

Two more stars go against one another, with Alexander Ovechkin still chasing history. He may have difficulty doing so with a struggling Caps team. They didn’t find success against the Avs to end last season, with a 3-2 loss on January 24.

Colorado will go against old friend Darcy Kuemper once again alongside Ovechkin. Just looking at the teams who finished ahead of them last season, it looks very tough for the Caps to find playoff glory again. They’ll have to wait to play one another until 2024, on January 24 in Denver and February 13 in the nation’s capital.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Philadelphia Flyers

The Avs and Flyers played some high-scoring games last season. Each team won their respective home game against the opponents, most recently the Avs with a 3-2 win on December 13 - without Nathan MacKinnon who was injured in Philadelphia just a week before.

The Flyers will continue to be the Flyers, and unfortunately likely not surmount to much this season and sit towards the bottom of the metro division. They will look to play spoiler on December 9 in Colorado and January 20 in Philly.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Finally, the Avs and Blue Jackets last played in November in a back-to-back. Of course, this was last year’s rendition of the NHL Global Series where Colorado succeeded in both games, the last one being a 6-3 win.

Of course, there has been tons of drama surrounding Columbus during the offseason with the hiring and subsequent firing of Mike Babcock. With the mess the team is already in, it may be a long season and road ahead. Luckily, they have to wait until the end of the season to play the Avs on March 22 in the Mile High City and April 1 in Columbus.